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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo hospital staff say lives depend on stopping spread of COVID-19

President of medical staff association, chief of staff at NRGH asking for community’s best efforts

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam, cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read