BASKETBALL is on the rise at one of Brisbane’s smallest secondary schools, St James College, Spring Hill.
This year has seen an influx in the school of talented young men and women in basketball and for many it has been the first time they have had access to training and competition.
Principal Gerry Crooks said the basketball program has had wonderful benefits for the students.
“They are given the opportunity to excel in ways that beforehand they could only dream about, and they have already proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with against other teams,” Mr Crooks said.
Since the college’s establishment 143 years ago in 1868, it has had ties with working class families of Brisbane.
Co-curricular co-ordinator Andrew Ebrington said many of the students came from backgrounds that precluded them participating in such activities as competitive basketball.
“The barriers stopping the students from taking the court have been overcome with the purchase of basketballs through the Coles shopper dockets program, the donation of basketball shoes and the fundraising by past students for basketball uniforms,” Mr Ebrington said.
“St James College now has four teams competing in the junior club basketball competition at Brisbane Basketball at Auchenflower alongside high-profile GPS schools such as Terrace, Churchie and BBC (Brisbane Boys’ College).”
A project registered with the Australian Sports Foundation has been set up at St James and is assisting marginalised young men and women at the school to access various sporting activities.
The project, known as Lighthouse for Athletes, continues to increase participation at local, state and national level.
“Without the support of people outside the St James community,” Mr Crooks said, “many of these students would still be sitting on the sideline.”