New season about to start

THE start of the 2014 basketball year is just around the corner.

Followers of the game should now be shaking the spiders out of their sneakers in readiness for the impending fun and games.

The health benefits of basketball are well documented and on top of being a good way to burn some kilojoules following the excesses of the festive season.

It's also a very good way to boost your social circle.

If you would like to give it a try now is the time to start talking to family and friends with a view to forming or joining a team and all the details are available on the Taree Basketball website.

Basketball has no restrictions on the movement of players on the court and as such provides everyone with the opportunity to try all the skills of the game and enjoy the thrill of firing in that winning shot.

Senior basketball for women and men will tip off with trial games early next month with high school students back on court around the same time.

The very popular Saturday morning primary school based competition is set to take on a new look with the older children from last year moving onto high school.

The Taree Tornadoes junior representative program will once again see teams travel to weekend events in Armidale (March), Tamworth (April and May) and Lismore (June) with the finals in Grafton (July) to compete in the Waratah Northern NSW Junior Basketball League.

Traditionally, the entry level for Taree junior representative teams has been set at the under 14 age group.

However, official Paul Healy said with the growth in the number of children playing primary school basketball last year it has been decided to assess the feasibility of nominating under 12 teams.

This will cater for younger children interested in testing their skills against players their own age from across the top end of the State.

"Participation in the Waratah Northern NSW Junior Basketball League is not just about the children playing the game as it also needs a commitment from parents to assist as coaches, managers and score bench personnel as well as having the capacity to pay the weekend playing fee of $50 plus travel and accommodation costs,'' Mr Healy said.

For families with children interested in representative basketball here is information about birth years for the various age groups in 2014:?under 12 players born 2003/04, U14 players born 2001/02, U16 players born 1999/00 and U18 players born 1997/98.

More information on training sessions and the selection process will be available within the next week.

Saxby's Stadium is the home of Taree Basketball and information about the sport may be obtained on 6551 7456, email or simply visit the website