Players, parents and coaches came from Blenheim all the way to Invercargill to train at the Ashburton EA Networks Centre on Saturday and Sunday as part of Basketball New Zealand’s National Talent Training Programme Camp.
The players were split into four groups, the under 15 boys and girls and the under 17 boys and girls, and taught and tested at the Ashburton camp – one of three across the country and only in the South Island – to see whether they were skilled enough to be considered for the National Team trials in December.
Mark Douglas, one of three assistant coaches for Ashburton, helped train the under 17 girls over the weekend and said it was a good chance for the players to broaden their skills and showcase their talent and dedication.
“There are a lot of kids here who put in a lot of work.
“How many teenagers do you know that get up at four or five in the morning to train for a couple of hours before school?”
Douglas said it was not just learning experience for the kids but also a chance for the coaches to learn something new and different.
“It was cool to see some refreshing ideas.”
He said it was great to have former Tall Fern and Olympic competitor Jody Cameron to assist the coaches and advise the young players.
Douglas said he was particularly proud of the effort from the local Ashburton kids who had done really well.
Julie McGrath was assistant coach for the under 15 girls at the Ashburton camp who said the experience was great for everybody.
She said it was good to have the South Island camp in Ashburton because it was a convenient place for families to come from all around the South Island and hoped Ashburton would get the camp again next year.
– By Noah Graham
Source: Ashburton Guardian