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Saturday, 8th December, 2018

The R K Sanderson Basketball Stadium is getting a makeover. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan The R K Sanderson Basketball Stadium is getting a makeover. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Callum Marshall

The R K Sanderson Basketball Stadium is currently being worked on with new roofs and floors expected to be in place before the current season continues at the end of January.

Construction of the new roofs is currently underway and expected to be complete by December 20. By the time the Christmas break is over in late January, new floors for the main courts should be in place as well.

President of the Broken Hill Basketball Association Jarred Philpott said the stadium upgrades were something they’d been trying to do for years.

“We’ve had a few leaks over the past and obviously the hailstorm a few years ago caused a bit more damage,” he said.

“If it rained heavily we used to have issues where we couldn’t hold certain games on the courts because of leaks.

“So all the roofs over our main courts are being redone. They’re being relined and reinsulated and (there’s) new iron (as well.)

“We’re also getting Murray Cox from South Australia to come and (improve our courts) because he specialises in doing basketball, netball and volleyball courts.

“So he’s going to sand back all our courts, revarnish, relacquer and bring them up to standard with the best courts in South Australia.

“Our courts were getting on so to have them revamped will be really good.

“So the players will be playing on brand new ones when they come back on January 29th for the rest of the season. I think they’ll notice a big difference.

“But it’s been a very expensive process and that’s probably why it’s taken as long as it has.”

An insurance payout after the hailstorm alongside ticket sales has helped pay for the two projects, said Jarred.

“The roofs are being done through insurance from the hailstorm, so that’s helped us out a lot,” he said.

“Getting the roofs done has been on our radar for a couple of years and for a while it looked like fundraising was going to be the way to pay for that, so when the hailstorm (hit it) was a bit of a blessing in disguise.” 

“As for the floors, they’re getting done through our ticket sales. We’re putting our money aside to do them because we believe that, clearly, they’re a very important part of basketball. 

“Murray has also been very helpful with it and he’s offering us some coaching clinics and things like that which could potentially help raise some money as well. 

“Murray goes out and helps the country associations and he likes to see them survive. So he does everything he can to try to make it cost-efficient for us to keep our courts up to standard.

“I also want to thank all of our sponsors that have helped make this happen as well.”

Jarred said that between the completion of the roofs and when work starts on the floor, people can still come and practice at the stadium provided they get in contact with the association. 

“Over Christmas we don’t expect many people will come,” he said.

“But it will be open if team members wants to come out and use it. They can contact myself or one of the other executives at the Association to organise a key to come out and use the courts.”

Once the season returns Jarred said it would carry on until either late March or April.

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