SHARE
Warm up . . . Bluestone Bob Cats team members Aleigha Darling (12), left, and Anya O'Connor (12), right, get some practice in before playing in the regular Monday afternoon tournament at the Southern Trust Events Centre. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

by Alexia Johnston

Hundreds of schoolchildren have welcomed the opportunity to play basketball this season.

Basketball Association has about 700 high school pupils on its books, along with 1200 primary and intermediate players.

Association general manager Sean Fuller said the sport was still growing and the trend was showing no signs of slowing down.

“Numbers have been growing every year for the last 10 years.”

He puts that growth down to better competitions and organisation of tournaments.

The association also has a strong referee development programme, which provides the support needed to ensure games could happen.

“We run a pretty good referee development programme to help meet that demand,” Fuller said.

“We run clinics for schools [and] develop our referees to start [with] primary school [games].”

Youngsters keen to referee were put through the programme, starting with year 5 and 6 games, followed by year 7 and 8 tournaments.

“They just get better and better.”

So far, the association has more than 50 referees of all ages.

“They range from year 7 students to [people] in their 60s, but the bulk are secondary school age.”

Fuller said a recent high school referee clinic attracted 60 youngsters.