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New basketball courts open tomorrow

Friday 16 December, 2022

Two half basketball courts at Waikanae Beach will have a special opening from 2pm tomorrow.

Tall Black Ethan Rusbatch will be at the event, called Hoops in Parks, with giveaways and a free sausage sizzle.

The Waikanae Beachfront courts are the combined effort of Gisborne District Council, the Gisborne Basketball Association, Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) and Hoeā! Gallery.

Basketball is New Zealand’s fastest-growing sport.

“This project is all about creating more public spaces for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau to play,” says Kylie Turuwhenua-Tapsell, Chair of Gisborne Basketball Association.

The two half-courts have been positioned on one of the existing tennis courts overlooking Waikanae Beach, retaining two of the existing tennis courts.

The artwork on the courts has been designed by Melanie Tangaere Baldwin, of Hoeā! Gallery.

“The patterning references the whakatauki 'poipoia te kakano kia puawai' and 'kaua e mate wheke, kia mate ururoa', which when combined speak to the relentless pursuit of growth and excellence, that can only happen with the support of the community,” says Ms Baldwin.

BBNZ Facilities and Insights Lead, Daniel Dawick, says being able to provide accessible basketball opportunities for local tamariki, rangatahi and their whanau is vital.

“We want everyone to be able have the chance to shoot some hoops, play with their mates and to get up and about. Hoops in Parks is helping us achieve this goal by removing any barriers that our young people may have experienced in the past.

“The Hoops in Parks initiative continues to build momentum across the motu thanks to a number of great partnerships, including this one with Gisborne District Council.”

Consultation for this project took place over winter, predominantly with young people and their whānau.

“The resounding feedback was that young people, and their whānau wanted to have a quality court at the beach,” says Council Liveable Spaces Planning Team Leader, Tyler Kirk.

“As much as possible, we aim to create flexibility and multi-use of our facilities, so adding another activity to the Waikanae Courts aligns well with this approach.”

BBNZ have funded the hoops, and their installation, as part of their nationwide push to create more accessible, outdoor basketball courts.

Council is funding the mural, line marking, and improvements to the existing tennis courts to get them ready for the summer season.

Aerial view old courts

Basketball half courts Waikanae Beach

Basketball half court Waikanae Beach

Courts by the beach with one of the best views in town now offer another sport to play on them. Two half-basketball courts now sit beside two tennis courts at Waikanae Beach. Tall Black Ethan Rusbatch will be at the official opening tomorrow from 2pm, even though some tamariki were already enjoying the new hoops yesterday on a rainy afternoon. The project has been a partnership between Basketball New Zealand, Gisborne Basketball Association, Hoeā! Gallery and Council.