Basketball at Sacred Heart College has undergone some significant changes in the first half of 2019, thanks in large part to the support of our Director of Sport, Mr. Nick Guise, the recent formation of a volunteer parent and teacher-led Basketball Committee, and the school itself. This has culminated in an overall increase in students playing the game; some 200+ of the school roll, involved in weekly or seasonal competitions throughout the Eastern Auckland area.
On court results have been solid throughout the year thus far, with notable unbeaten seasons for each of the SHC Lakers in the local Year 7/8 competition, the Junior A Team in their Year 9/10 pool, and the First V Team in their Open A competition. Each is vying for representation at the Greater Auckland Champs for their respective grades, with the hope of furthering their place in the Eastern Zones Championship (Year 7/8), the Junior A Grade Premiership (Year 9/10), and National Qualifiers (Year 11-13) in September, a feat not yet achieved in Sacred Heart Basketball history. The Junior Red team also remains unbeaten in their division, under long time coach and school basketball supporter, John Hughes. In addition, of the remaining 16 teams over the age grades, a number have maintained solid seasons; notably the Second V, conceding just the one loss this season, under the guidance of old boy Sione Dale, along with the Third V, under the tutelage of Ms. Lucy Stone, and the Junior Premier Reserves, under long time Sacred Heart Basketball advocate, Jemma Ennis.
Off the court, the basketball programme continues to grow, both from within the school, and those who volunteer their time from within the community. Each of the 12 First V players help to coach our growing Year 7/8 programme, providing weekly guidance to our future players, alongside members of the Junior A Team (Adam Davies and Joshua Stewart) with the SHC Lakers. Members of the Sacred Heart teaching community also play an integral part of the programme, namely Ms. Arminda De Jong (Teacher in Charge of Basketball and Manager of the First V), Mr. Kevin Smith (Coach of Junior Blue and Helper with the Boarder Teams), Ms. Hannah Lightfoot (Manager of the Third V), and Ms. Lucy Stone (Manager of the Under 17 Boarders). In addition, we have 4 AUT students volunteering their time across coaching, managing and refereeing roles, namely Tayla Robinson (Head Coach of our Year 7/8 Spurs, Assistant Coach of the Junior Development Programme, and Assistant Coach to both the First V and Junior A Teams), Elias Qheri (Head Coach of our Junior Black Team), Nicholas Jarrold (referee) and Marcia Norman (Manager to the Junior Premier Reserve Team). Sacred Heart is also incredibly fortunate to have great parent coaches and managers, from within the community, who volunteer their time each week to help our young student athletes.
In addition, the formation of the volunteer parent and teacher-led Basketball Committee has seen key refurbishments to the school gym, including new backboards, hoops, balls, and floor cleaning completed, in preparation for the current season and beyond, as well as working diligently to oversee fundraising events and support mechanisms, among others. Their efforts, thus far, have led to dramatic changes within the programme, in a very short period of time, for which we are all incredibly grateful.
Finally, the recent inclusion of Basketball into the Sports Institute Programme (for Years 7 through 10) reinforces both the growth of the sport throughout the school, and the support Mr. Nick Guise and the school provide. We are very fortunate that alongside their support, and the support of our committee, our parents, and our community, that basketball will continue to thrive at Sacred Heart for many years to come.
Head of Basketball