Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Basketball star opens new Mangakino court

Former Tall Black, Tom Abercrombie, has helped open Mangakino’s new basketball court, as a special guest of Taupō District Council.

Mangakino ward councillor, Kirsty Trueman says the turnout for the new facility was “amazing”.

“What an honour it was to have Tom Abercrombie speak at the opening, shoot some hoops and play one-on-one with our youth. He had a little entourage of excited tamariki tailing his every move at one point.”

“The old basketball court was the concrete floor of the demolished shops. MV Properties kindly let the community put up hoops and use the area as they did not have a community court. The uneven and pitted concrete was not ideal to play on and parents have said they are much happier now that their kids can play on a safe surface.

“Having a court in the town centre brings great vibrancy. It is a space for everyone and will be well used by our rangatahi keen to develop their basketball skills. It provides an activity to keep our youth busy and active, and we now have the potential to play and host competitions or social games in our community. A huge thanks to the council for supporting this project.”

Taupō District Council community engagement advisor, Claire Dredge, worked with local tamariki to choose the court’s colours, a vibrant ‘LA Lakers’ combination of purple and yellow, and said there was a great atmosphere at the court for the official opening.

“It was wonderful to see the community come together and celebrate the completion of a project that means so much to them,” she said.

“We had a blessing, speeches, some beautiful waiata, food, music, and the kids – and some adults – got to play basketball with Tom Abercrombie. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and we’re looking forward to seeing the court being put to good use for years to come.”

Council says the project was finished within budget and includes a basketball court, hoops, fencing, shelter, and seating.

The court surface is an innovative new sports turf designed specifically for basketball and netball, which balances useability with affordability. Council also took on board feedback from nearby residents regarding noise and light disturbance and took steps to ensure any disruption is minimised.

The turf used will help to reduce slipping and injuries, deliver excellent bounce and traction, and reduce the noise by 30 to 32%, the Counci lsaid. Plus, the adjustable-height hoops mean it is suitable for all ages.

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