NEWS BULLETIN file photo

New kids’ basketball program will take the court in Nanaimo

Island Swish, for children in kindergarten through Grade 7, plans to tip off in September

A new kids’ basketball program is tipping off, hoping to court the next generation of players.

Island Swish is planning to launch this coming September and is trying to spread the word now.

The new program, for children in kindergarten to Grade 7, will be directed by Vancouver Island University coaches Matt Kuzminski, Avneet Brar and Scott Marr.

“It’ll be skill-based training, just to get the kids out and liking basketball and having fun,” said Brar, adding that Island Swish may look at a night league for the following spring, but wants to see how the fall session goes first.

He said the intention of Island Swish is to get more kids playing basketball at a young age.

“We found there was kind of a void to be filled with basketball,” Brar said. “Where other sports are having kids participate at a very young age – soccer’s getting in kids early, hockey’s getting in kids early, and baseball even – there wasn’t that for basketball, so we wanted to provide that.”

Island Swish will be not-for-profit, and program fees will go to staffing and facility rental. Venues aren’t yet finalized, but Brar suggested the hope is to have programs accessible for families toward the north and the south ends of the city.

The program is envisioned to go from September to November, with one hour once a week for the youngest ages, an hour and a half for Grades 4-5 and up to twice a week for Grades 6-7. Brar said the emphasis will be on small-space play and “experiential” learning through hands-on training.

He said Island Swish will not only benefit the athletes, but also coaches.

“With myself and Matt having been mentored by [VIU assistant coach] Mark Simpson and developed as coaches by him, it’s just a chance for us to help develop other coaches in the community,” Brar said. “We’ll have various coaches and even Mariner athletes working in the program and we’ll be working towards helping them develop as coaches, as well, while they give back to the kids.”

Brar said Island Swish has been well-received initially.

“Everybody’s been so supportive and excited,” he said.

For more information, click here or e-mail islandswish@gmail.com.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Andrew Scheer makes campaign stop in Parksville

Federal Conservative leader talks tax cuts, environment

Nanaimo remembers Terry Fox and runs for his cause

Terry Fox Run was held Sunday at Bowen Park

Clippers earn five out of six points in BCHL action

Nanaimo splits with Alberni Valley, beats Chilliwack

Regional District of Nanaimo losing forest, farm lands

Growth strategy report shows mixed results relative to regional district’s goals

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

City buys Five Acre Farm in Harewood for $1.38 million

Agreement made so that Nanaimo Foodshare can use farm property

Seven buildings proposed for waterfront development in Parksville

IAG Developments hosts second public open house to gather feedback

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Most Read