31 May 2023

Courting success: Lake Albert residents making most of new basketball hoop

| Jarryd Rowley
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youth shooting hoops

Lake Albert residents are enjoying a basketball/netball court recently installed at Jack Skeers Park. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Lake Albert residents are making the most of a new basketball/netball half-court at Jack Skeers Park.

The half-court installation comes after sustained public requests and interest to improve the outdoor recreational facilities at the park.

Residents have responded positively to the new asset, with families filling the park consistently since the half-court’s opening less than a fortnight ago.

“We had multiple requests from local residents for a basketball court at Jack Skeers Park, which is highly utilised by the local community,” Wagga Wagga Council works and playground officer John Conlan said.

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“The upgrade is especially noticeable given the previous set-up was a makeshift netball ring attached to the side of a goalpost and the ground underneath was quite uneven and could be very muddy during wet weather.

“We heard these requests and have responded by installing the half basketball court, which will be a much safer and more pleasant space to play on.”

Wagga City Council said it recognised the importance of recreational spaces, and the court gave residents the opportunity to use new and safer equipment.

The court is receiving mostly positive feedback from nearby residents, particularly around the noise-reducing backboard and safer places for children to enjoy basketball and netball.

Lake Albert mother-of-two Julie Ryan said the move meant she and her family did not need to travel to use a basketball hoop.

“Aside from the new hoop, the closest ring is at Henwood Park in Kooringal, but even still it sits next to a fairly popular skate park,” Mrs Ryan said.

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“Having it at Jack Skeers Park allows not only my children but plenty of others in the suburb to enjoy an outdoor court within walking distance.

“Jack Skeers Park already has some rugby goalposts and a netball hoop on the side of it, but it is outdated and unsafe, so having a cement block put in and separate from other equipment makes me and my family feel more compelled to use the equipment.”

Jack, a basketball enthusiast, said he was overjoyed at having a new court and with a growing passion for basketball in the city, more courts could only be a good thing.

“So many more people are playing basketball around Wagga Wagga and it’s good to have the courts at PCYC and in the city, but to have a place where people can shoot around and have fun without paying to play, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

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