Joe Hutton, a Grade 9 DCVI student, was helping out as a volunteer for St. Marys Minor Basketball at the school on Thursday, Oct. 29.
By Dan Rankin
Late last month for the 10th year running, St. Marys Minor Basketball tipped off on the courts at DCVI. Thanks to the work of convenors Rob Wrigley, Tim O’Connor, Gregg Blackler and Ken Thorup and numerous student athlete volunteers, each week dozens of kids will get the chance to learn the fundamentals of the growing sport by running drills and playing games.
The program for boys and girls in Grades 3 and 4 runs weekly at DCVI on Mondays in the small gym from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Boys and girls from Grades 5-8 meet on Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm. The program runs through the winter until March 10, 2016.
The programs are further divided up into smaller age groups, with session lasting about 50 minutes each, Wrigley said. So, Grade 5-6 boys meets begin at 6:30 pm Thursdays, Grade 5-8 girls meets begin at 7:15 pm, and Grade 7-8 boys meets begin at 8:00 pm.
Wrigley said the programs each have around 25-30 children taking part, and that altogether they usually instruct between 110-120 kids per season. Gradually the groups are broken up into teams that compete in a season format before meeting in the playoffs in 2016.
“At the start of the year we focus more on development of skills, so the 50 minutes is broken down 60 percent skills and 40 percent games,” he said. “By the end of the season, it’s about 80 percent games and 20 percent working on skills. Then they have playoffs.”
St. Marys Minor Basketball features both a recreation and travel division, Wrigley said. Teams in the travel division will get to compete against clubs that are part of similar programs in communities including Listowel and Goderich.
“It’s a great community program,” Wrigley said. “For $50 you get a basketball, a jersey and nine weeks of activity. That’s the best bargain in minor sports.”
Children can be registered prior to the meets at DCVI on Monday and Thursday evenings, or online at Basketballstmarys.blogspot.ca.