Peaks Jr. basketball hopes to increase Banff participation
Thursday, Apr 13, 2017 06:00 am
A local basketball program is all about getting young people active and growing basketball culture in the Bow Valley.
The Peaks junior basketball program returns to the hardwood in Banff this weekend and its mission is to teach basketball basics and life lessons.
The program, for children in Grades 1-6, runs for six weeks beginning this Monday (April 17) in Banff Elementary School’s gym.
Peaks Basketball owner and instructor Wendell Minty said the program that combines basketball and proper morals and values is a cool approach for kids who might only be able to execute a layup at the program’s end, but get a slam-dunk in philosophy.
“The premise of Peaks is a great dynamic,” said Minty. “There is no pressure on the kids and no stress on winning – it’s more about learning to play and participating.
“When it comes to those topics, we discuss them and prepare the kids and they understand how to react to those types of situations, like for bullying, for example. We talk about different scenarios and who to contact.”
Peaks Junior Basketball hosts two programs in the valley, with the other run in Canmore. It is currently underway. To see registration forms for Canmore/Banff, go to www.peaksbasketball.ca.
However, Minty said they are looking to increase participation levels in Banff this year.
“Right now we have eight kids in the Banff program and we’re looking for another eight to 10 kids,” he said. “If not, the other option is to just do the program in Canmore because what we’re trying to do is offer a pretty cool program that’s about what the kids learn and being active.”
There are local organizations out there should parents or guardians be looking into financial support, such as KidsSport, which can be contacted at www.kidsport.ca.
Living in Banff since 1998, Minty said basketball programs were running when he was in elementary school under Glenn Nelson, who started the Peaks program in the ’70s.
The program has helped to carve a basketball personality in the Rockies for over 40 years.
Minty has “taken the torch” from Nelson in recent years and purchased the program.
“We’re trying to create a little bit of basketball culture because that’s where it started with Glenn and guys like myself have taken the torch,” he said.
Minty also coaches basketball at Banff Community High School and said there were about 75-85 students who tried out for basketball teams this year.
“It’s a pretty high number. For the school itself, that’s a third of the school wanting to participate in basketball and that wasn’t always the case,” Minty said.