A new open basketball club aimed at Grade-7 aged boys held its first session at the Corner Brook Civic Centre Studio on Sunday evening and organizer Lorilee Sharpe said it felt like an early success.
According to Sharpe, 18 boys were in attendance for opening night. She said her understanding is that approximately 40 boys tried out for the 15 available spots on the Corner Brook Intermediate Grade 7 boys team, so she was “very pleased with the turnout of 18.”
She said some of those in attendance appeared to be “quite proficient” with the sport, while others might not have played much before, so “this will be a new adventure for them.”
As originally reported in the Oct. 20 edition of The Western Star, the club was formed by Sharpe and her husband Jonathan, who is a certified basketball coach, due to Corner Brook Intermediate only offering one boys basketball team per grade this year, unlike previous years when there were two. This left many kids without an opportunity to play. She said there was no consultation with parents on the decision.
She also said her husband, and another coach, offered to run secondary teams for both Grade 7 and 8 boys, but were turned away.
At the time the article was published, no one at Corner Brook Intermediate was available for comment. However, principal Peter Burt has since responded via email.
In the email, Burt said that following discussions with school council, staff and members of the school community over the last year, the school decided to reduce the number of basketball and volleyball teams within the school to one male and female team per grade.
He said the previous model had become unmanageable from an organizing perspective, with issues such as securing gym time, teacher sponsors, and volunteers, and required a significant commitment from those that did come forward to help.
Recognizing this challenging situation, while also wanting to provide access to healthy physical activities for students, he said, the school has launched an intramural program that is “seeing much interest and uptake so far this year.”
He said close to 100 students have signed up to participate in after-school sports such as dodgeball, volleyball, floor hockey, basketball and others throughout the course of the year.
“The school will consult with students, staff and community members as it continues to monitor and assess the changes to their extra-curricular sports offerings,” he said. “and will continue to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of all Corner Brook Intermediate students.