Basketball program grows

Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program back for third year

Renell LeGrow
Published on September 26, 2011
Adam Cooke loves most sports, but basketball is one of his favorites. He's among the young kids who will take part in the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program in Grand Falls-Windsor with the coaching of his father, local basketball guru, Brian Cooke. The program aims to support physical activity and a love for the game.
David Newell photo

It's an opportunity for young kids to shoot some hoops and have some fun.

The Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program is kick-starting its third season in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The program is a national youth basketball program for young kids, designed to develop fundamental skills, sportsmanship and a love for the game. It aims to allow participants to maximize their potential, while promoting the importance of youth sport.

Sessions are open for girls and boys in Kindergarten to grade 3.

"After having two boys (Adam and Sam), who are now 7 and 4 years old, I was introduced to the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program through my involvement with NLBA," said Coach Brian Cooke. "After this introduction, I knew I had to launch this program in our community. This program is designed to get kids more active, have lots of fun and develop basketball skills. I believe it will also make better basketball players in Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada."

Cooke has a deep love and long history with the sport, and in three short years, the Steve Nash Basketball program has doubled its numbers.

"I started with just a kindergarten to grade 1 group in our first year," he said. "We had 20 children. In year two we added a grade 2-3 group to our program. We had a total of 36 children. This year will be Year Three for us and already we have a total of 42 children registered."

In November, he plans to expand the program for boys in the grades 4-6 level.

"(I have) parents and grandparents asking if the program will be extended," he said. "We will be adding this group in November on Wednesday evenings to all boys in our community in grade 4-6. There is already a girls program at Millcrest in Grand Falls-Windsor. More information will be communicated to the Parents in the coming weeks regarding registration and start date."

Besides a great deal of fun, Cooke promises the program is great way to introduce the children to physical activity and new skills, and helps them build self esteem.

"If coaches, parents and peers provide children in sport with a positive experience at a young age, I think we will build children that will continue with sport for the rest of their life," he said.

And he said they've added a little something extra for the kids to enjoy during the holidays.

"The last session before Christmas we have Santa Claus visit the gym for a few jump shots with the children, a picture, and hands out a few special treats.," he said. "In March during our last session we have a fun game and banquet."

Registration for the program is limited to 30 children per group, and Cooke said space is filling up fast.

Anybody interested is asked to contact