“We ran the program (for the first time ever) Fridays at the high school from 12:30 to 4 p.m., and we ran it at the elementary school as well,” said co-ordinator Hugh Simpson of the different age groups involved with the camps.
“Every hour and a half we switch age groups.”
From the beginning of January through to the end of March, 180 kids from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 6 practiced drills, skills and team work.
Those of which were enrolled in the Kindergarten to Grade 3 age group spent time coaching both the boys and girls together, while Grade 4 to 6 were segregated by gender.
“This is a Canadian National camp . . . and it’s the first time it’s come to Raymond,” Simpson said. “We chose to implement the program to give all the youth in town an opportunity to play basketball and develop their skills in those age groups.”
Despite organizing the camps being quite the task, finding volunteer coaches to help run the program was no trouble at all.
“We have approximately 20 coaches, which that’s the key to running a program like this. All the coaches are volunteers from Raymond and a lot of them have a university level of experience they bring to the table,” he said. “Also if it wasn’t for the schools in Raymond co-operating with us, this program wouldn’t be able to run.”
The town sponsored program offered not only a chance to improve upon the sport, but also provided children with a ball, bag and jersey. Come next season Simpson hopes to be able to run the program again.
“I hope to be running it again next year, it was a very, very successful program,” he said.