The 2013 Southland secondary school basketball competitions, played for the third year in school gyms throughout Invercargill, came to end last week.
Southland Basketball Association general manager Jill Bolger said this year had been particularly difficult with venues, and the schools are to be praised for assisting with venue availability sometimes at short notice.
"Players, parents and basketball followers had been very patient since the demise of Stadium Southland as a venue, but it is really wearing thin now and everyone is very excited about 2014 in the brand new ILT Stadium Southland," Bolger said.
Secondary school playing numbers have remained much the same during the past three years and it is hoped that the new venue, combined with a concerted effort from Southland Basketball to make inroads into coaching in the secondary schools, there would be more more young players on the courts in 2014.
This year's competition was keenly contested in both senior and junior grades, with many representative age-group players standing out and showing the benefits of the coaching they have received both in these teams and in their schools this year, Bolger said.
Southland Boys' High School and Southland Girls' High School were the dominant schools this year, winning nine of the 11 grades offered and scooping many of the individual awards.
That included Daniel Robertson, of Southland Boys', claiming the Te Toa Pukenga Rau Trophy.
That trophy is awarded to the person who showcased many traits, including playing ability, skill level, dedication, leadership, representative involvement, motivation to continued improvement, on and off-court demeanour and behaviour.
- © Fairfax NZ News