Kids in Transcona will soon be able to slam dunk in the neighbourhood.
A new basketball court is being installed west of the outdoor hockey rinks at Oxford Heights Community Centre, which is located at 359 Dowling Ave. E. Club president Lora Deighton said the club was planning to build a court anyway, but received funding through the Winnipeg Minor Basketball Association (WMBA) to help add some extra bells and whistles to the project.
"We did some landscaping last year to get it ready, and we had hoped to build a basketball court ourselves," she said. "We had applied to partner with the WMBA, and it turns out they were interested in working with us."
Deighton noted the WMBA agreement came together in the spring. With Oxford Heights being the only community centre in the area offering a basketball program, the partnership was a sensible match. The court is expected to hold a grand opening in October.
She noted the court will include lighting, a rubberized Mondo surface on top of the asphalt, and hoops that are easily adjustable.
"If you have younger kids playing, you can lower it," she said.
Deighton said the club will take care of scheduling at the court, and she hopes to have some three-on-three tournaments slated in the near future.
The $162,000 cost of the court is being split evenly between the City of Winnipeg, the league, and the club.
WMBA president Ted Fardoe could not be reached before press time to talk about the league’s hopes for the court.
The court is coming into the community at a time of massive change for the centre — it is also moving the location of its playground, which will include a new play structure.
The court isn’t the only new one planned for northeast Winnipeg. A court at Valley Gardens Community Centre at 218 Antrim Rd. received provincial government funding at an announcement on Aug. 20.