Car washes, sausage sizzles and even taping a school coach to the wall has helped basketball-mad Ross Intermediate make a slam dunk on their plans for a new gym.
The school has roughly doubled over the past seven years and needed more space, but their hall wasn’t big enough for indoor sports courts, deputy principal Tania Rogers said.
The $700,000 project required several years of hard work fundraising by the community, and work on the site began in 2015.
The 30 metre by 20m gym built on the school’s field holds a full-sized basketball court, a badminton court and an area for volleyball. It will also be used as a Civil Defence base.
The space means the school can offer sports and activity programmes in bad weather, perfect timing for the basketball season, a popular sport at the school.
“For term two it’s already fully booked, we have a class in every single time block and sports teams fighting over who can use it for their practices. The kids are really excited about it,” Rogers said.
“It’s really important to offer extra-curricular activities, have sports practices after school and at lunch times, and provide students with these opportunities.
“Intermediate is a time where they start exploring new things, and sport might be what they are talented or find success in … it encourages growth of confidence in themselves.”
Manawatu u15 basketball rep Maraki Aumua, 12, was excited about getting more practice.
“We’re working on winning the regionals.
“[The new gym] makes it better and easier. If the hoop’s the right size, you get used to shooting on it, otherwise it’s difficult in games.”
Kalem Tanoa, 12, another Manawatu u15 rep, said the team had helped fundraise.
“We taped our coach to the wall – we had to pay $1 for every metre of tape.
“He’s a bit grumpy, so a lot of people wanted to do it – he’s got a good sense of humour.”
Ross Intermediate staff and pupils will celebrate the official opening of the gym on Thursday morning with a ceremony and hoop-shooting challenge.