The sport of walking basketball will make its NSW debut at Cessnock next month.
An activity designed especially for senior citizens, it has been played in Europe for a couple of years and recently made its way to Victoria.
The launch will be held at Cessnock Toyota Stadium on Tuesday, March 7, coinciding with the Cessnock City Seniors Festival (previously known as Seniors Week).
Seniors Festival committee member Phil Baird came across walking basketball on the nightly news about three months ago, and made some inquiries to Basketball Victoria about the possibility of bringing the new sport to Cessnock.
Walking basketball has taken off in the southern state – the Victorian Government is funding the project in conjunction with VicHealth in the belief that it will become a national sport.
Mr Baird said the sport is an ideal way for older people to re-engage in a mild form of physical activity that they may have thought was beyond their capability.
“To participate in the game all that is required is the ability to walk, pass and catch a ball and be prepared to have a heap of fun,” he said.
“The opportunity to play this new sport while socialising with many new friends is certain to add to its popularity.”
Cessnock Men’s Shed has played a major role in getting the sport started by manufacturing the unique type of goals necessary for the game – which look a lot like the ‘mysterious’ object that appeared in the Advertiser on February 1.
These goals are only 107 centimetres (three feet, six inches) tall, which means that competitors do not have to jump or reach high to score a goal.
Mr Baird said local interest is steadily mounting among mothers, fathers, friends and neighbours with many already talking of forming teams.
“With each team consisting of five members, which can be made up of both males and females, it is starting to sound like a lot of fun,” he said.
“It is something that could also be of interest to kids and people with disabilities.
“I can see a huge future for it.”
The launch will start at 10am on March 7. For more details, contact Phil Baird on 4990 1295 or stadium manager Brett Keeble on 4991 1656.
Take a look at the video from Basketball Victoria below.