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Basketball Gaining Popularity in Martensville

by Shanine Sealey

Basketball has been consistently gaining popularity in Martensville over the years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Approximately five years ago, the Mini Dunkers program was started that focused on providing basic skills to kids in kindergarten to grade 2. Those participating in this program learn all about dribbling, passing, shooting, etc. and play games once a month against the different groups between Martensville and Warman.

Saskatoon has a similar program; however, City of Martensville Recreation Program Supervisor, Angela Reddekopp, worked alongside Warman to help provide a local opportunity for residents. “We wanted to offer something closer to home so parents didn’t have to travel back and forth to Saskatoon as much,” Reddekopp said.

Once kids move on to grade 3, they then register with the Saskatoon Minor Basketball program where they sign up as a resident of Martensville. Teams are then created with youth from Martensville and surrounding areas with practices taking place between Martensville and Warman and games taking place each Saturday in Saskatoon.

This year saw the most teams Martensville has ever had in the Saskatoon Minor Basketball Program with two teams in the Spuds Division (Grades 3-4), two boys teams and one female team in the Mini-Division (grades 5-6), two boys teams and one female team in the Bantam Division (Grades 7-8) and one team in the Junior Division (Grades 9-10).

“We have seen a steady increase in popularity throughout the years and are fortunate to have some amazing coaches that jumped on board and have been working with the kids right from the beginning, so that is always nice to have that consistency from year to year with these kids,” Reddekopp said.

The basketball season runs from October-March, with a break over Christmas and February break. Information on basketball registration can be found in the City of Martensville Fall Program Guide which is available each August.

Other opportunities are offered throughout the year, including a summer basketball camp that brings in instructors from various organizations to work on numerous skills and prepare players for the upcoming season. Information on this can be found in the Summer Program Guide, which will be available in May.

Currently, all of the Martensville teams are competing in various stages of playoffs, with several teams moving on to the semi-finals including the Martensville Thunder Mini Boys, the Martensville Storm Bantam Boys and the Martensville Lightening Bantam Girls, who all play on March 12th, and if they win, will move onto the finals on March 19th.

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