Grade 5 kids learn dribbling skills in the third session of the SES basketball program created to train kids early for the junior and senior teams at the Secondary Campus. Seen here from left to right are Liam Missikewitz

Grade 5 kids learn dribbling skills in the third session of the SES basketball program created to train kids early for the junior and senior teams at the Secondary Campus. Seen here from left to right are Liam Missikewitz

SES starts basketball program to train kids early

Stettler Elementary School (SES) has started a basketball program with a view to allowing enthusiastic kids to acquire ball skills earlier.

Stettler Elementary School (SES) has started a basketball program for students of grades 5 and 6 with a view to allowing enthusiastic kids to acquire ball skills earlier in their education.

What used to be a Grade 6, and sometimes grades 6 and 7 program, has now morphed into a grades 5 and 6 program.

“We have a keen group of kids in grades 5 and 6 and thought we would continue the Grade 6 aspect but add Grade 5 as well so that they can have the opportunity,” said Kim Poapst, one of the program coordinators. “We teach the skills in PE class but this gives those that would like to pursue basketball a chance to experience the sport more.”

Kate Syson, vice-principal of SES and one of the program coordinators who supervised the kids for their third session on Monday, Jan. 25, said that the kids are gaining more control dribbling and are improving their ball handling skills.

“Just playing all different sports and not being afraid to try new things go a long way,” said Syson. “We want our kids to enjoy being active and have fun at these kinds of camps so they continue to play sports as they move up into high school.”

The program, allowing girls and boys being coached together, is based on a schedule of skills development for 45 minutes and games for half-an-hour to work on team strategies and concepts.

“Many towns close to the cities have club basketball at a young age and their skills by high school are so much stronger,” said Poapst. “This program gives the kids a chance to improve their individual skills as well as work on team concepts.”

Two nights the program will have county schools come in to play as was done in the volleyball program.

“We will play the county school games like we play in the high school,” added Poapst. “The first night I believe is Feb. 22, and that night we will play with no dribbling to reinforce player movement and team work.”

The program follows the Basketball Alberta curriculum and teach skills that the women’s national team use.