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Junior NBA program returns to Terrace Bay

The youth basketball program was first held in the community in the fall of 2022.

TERRACE BAY – For the first time in two years, a youth basketball initiative is taking place in Terrace Bay.

The township is bringing back its Junior NBA (National Basketball Association) program, with the first lessons taking place Wednesday evening at the St. Martin School gym.

“It’s a pretty awesome program that’s been produced by Canada Basketball,” said Luke Bedard, community development supervisor for the township of Terrace Bay.

“It’s a skill-based program that teaches the fundamental basketball skills, as well as important life skills such as teamwork, respect and responsibility.”

A little over 40 kids between the ages of 5 and 12 have signed up for the eight-week program, though registration is still open for those who want to take part.

Bedard said one of the initiatives behind bringing the Junior NBA program to the community is to offer recreational opportunities that aren’t typical to Terrace Bay or Northwestern Ontario.

“We certainly have things like hockey, figure skating and a variety of other winter sports, but it’s about trying to implement programming that meets the dynamic needs of our community,” Bedard added.

“That’s definitely the case with basketball, which is one of the top five fastest-growing sports in Canada.”

The Junior NBA program was first held in Terrace Bay in the fall of 2022 and received a lot of positive feedback, according to Bedard.

“People really enjoyed how the program was laid out and how engaging it was for the kids, along with the fact that we had a different type of program that was available,” he said.

“There was a conflict with the start of the skating season that year so we moved it to the spring this time around. The skating season is pretty much done and there’s still a bit too much ice on the lakes and it’s still a bit too chilly out for the summer activities to get going.”

Bedard said that one of the main goals of the program is to give the youth of Terrace Bay something that they can be involved with year-round.

“I think it’s important to offer a variety of activities,” Bedard added. “Certainly the winter activities are popular, but not everyone participates in them and we want to try and offer a diverse array of activities.

“This allows kids to participate in a low-cost and safe exercise, especially during a season where we tend to be a little bit less active between the winter and summer.”

Anyone who is interested in registering their child for the Junior NBA program, which runs for eight weeks and wraps up on May 22, or wants to be a volunteer for the weekly sessions can visit the Terrace Bay Community Centre from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

They can also get more information by e-mailing Bedard.