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Slam dunk! St Paul’s School scores new basketball hoops

St Paul’s Catholic Primary School in Massey believes in growing the whole child. Teaching the three Rs is naturally a strong focus. However, there are also plenty of opportunities in music, performing arts, cultural activities and sports.

St Paul’s opened its doors in 2002 and has around 440 students in years 0 to 6. ‘We support all students to achieve their full potential in a safe learning-focused environment,’ says teacher Trish Mackay. She adds that the school engages tamariki, parents, whānau and the local parish to achieve that goal.

Sports and PE are an essential part of life at St Paul’s School. The school recognises that keeping tamariki active is vital to their health and wellbeing and helps them better focus in the classroom. ‘Children just love sports and being active,’ says Trish.

And at St Paul’s, students can get involved in several different sports, including netball, swimming, cricket and athletics. But it’s basketball that has really captured the children’s attention.

However, while the school has three astroturf courts, they were short on basketball hoops. The one set they did have was at a fixed height that wasn’t suitable for younger children.

The school applied to the 2023 Your West Support Fund, and $5,000 has been invested in new adjustable basketball hoops. This means that younger students can also hit a slam dunk.

And the new hoops have been a massive hit with tamariki. Dozens of students swarm to the basketball courts during morning teas and lunch breaks. The courts are also used during PE lessons and by the on-site after-school care facility.

According to Trish, the number of students playing basketball continues to grow. St Paul's now has ten basketball teams with 95 children participating. Teams can compete at the local Y Sports league and in inter-school competitions. There are also many more children involved in indoor basketball.

‘We are over the moon,’ says Trish. ‘It’s fantastic to see so many children getting involved with a sport they love,’ she adds. And it means the school can make better use of its facilities and resources.

St Paul’s Primary School is situated at 498 Don Buck Road, Massey. Check out the website for more information.