Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Wanderers Sports Club, Brightwater, new hoops opening - Saturday 14 October

Mayor Tim King enjoying the action, straight from the farm, at Saturday’s basketball court opening at Brightwater. Photo credit to Wanderers Sports Club and Tasman District Council.

Team effort helps Wanderers new hoops happen 

With the assistance of local businesses, organisations and the Brightwater community, a previously underutilised part of Taylors Contracting Wanderers Community Sports Club facilities has been transformed into a space where all ages and abilities can pursue their hoop dreams.  

Work to install a full-size basketball court complete with two new high-quality, permanent Airtime Hoops was completed during the October school holidays.


The new equipment is located on the hard court area beside the Wanderers’ clubrooms, with new markings painted in the club’s familiar blue and yellow colours adding a ‘swish’ finish to the set-up. 

Saturday’s basketball court opening at Brightwater. Photo credit to Wanderers Sports Club and Tasman District Council.

An opening day was held on Saturday 14 October - with Tasman district Councillors, Mayor Tim King and members of the Nelson Giants basketball team present to try out the new hoops.   

Wanderers General Manager Jimmy van der Colk said the courts have been underutilised ever since netball was centralised to Saxton Stadium. 


“Seeing families playing basketball with the old netball hoops provided the motivation needed to start rejuvenating the ‘wasted’ space.”


“Given the popularity of basketball and the minimal barriers to participation - all you need is a ball - it was a no brainer to pursue this project.”


“We put up a temporary water-based basketball hoop as a trial and were blown away by the number of people using it. As we were putting it together a group from the skate park ran home to grab their basketballs.

Children having a great time on Saturday at the opening of the new basketball court Brightwater. Photo credit to Wanderers Sports Club and Tasman District Council.

Wanderers approached OneForty One New Zealand and NBS who were both keen to provide funding toward the project, allowing the purchase of the two basketball hoops. 


Further support was provided by McDonald Contracting & Construction and the Tasman District Council

who pitched in to carry out concrete works and paint the courts.


In addition, several keen locals volunteered to assemble the hoops and fundraise for the install by organising quiz nights. 

Jimmy said Wanderers are grateful to all these businesses and organisations for helping us to increase

and improve sporting opportunities for our local communities, creating a great asset for minimal cost. 

“It's been amazing seeing the court become popular with families, primary aged kids and teenagers just shooting hoops or playing 3 on 3.” 


Brent Williams, NBS Branch Manager, Richmond says: “Our financial support for Wanderers goes beyond just numbers. Together with all the other investment partners, we’re building a stronger, healthier more vibrant community through the power of sports.” 

The adjustable height function of the hoops provided increased opportunities for wheelchair players to enjoy the game of basketball, with a number of chairs made available for the public to use at Saturday’s


Plenty of enjoyment at the opening of the very special basketball court Brightwater. Photo credit to Wanderers Sports Club and Tasman District Council.

Local advocate for Youth Disability Sports Neisha Kindley said wheelchair basketball allowed participation by people of all abilities and ages. The sport offered kids in the region a chance to experience something new and is not just reserved for people who use wheelchairs in their day-to-day life. “We’re really pleased that the new court has considered this variance of the game of basketball.” 

Matt Vernick, Disability & Inclusion Lead, Basketball NZ added it was “great to see more opportunities in Tasman for people to get on court and play.”  

“It’s awesome that Wanderers has recognised that this is an easy way to be inclusive.” 

Also being promoted at the opening was the Girls Got Game initiative.  “Based on Basketball New Zealand’s Kiwi Hoops programme, Girls Got Game aims to introduce more young girls to basketball and encourage them to continue being active and enjoy basketball with their friends,” said Denise Coughlan, General Manager Nelson Basketball.

Credited to the Wanderers Sports Club and TDC Communications.

Pigeon Post News, Richmond.

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