Winnipeg Sea Bears, Buckets and Borders revamp downtown basketball court

A downtown basketball court got a well-needed makeover and its grand opening was Sunday, bringing in people from the community to celebrate the new addition to the neighbourhood.

The court is located next to the Mayfair Recreation Centre and the Sea Bears supported and promoted the refurbishment which was headed up by the non-profit Buckets and Borders.

The space on River Avenue was once a run-down court, not much to look at, and now it is so much more.

Before photo of the basketball court on River Ave, in Winnipeg. Obtained by google street view

The area has a fresh new coat of paint, giving it a beautiful colourful look. It features new basketball nets and more and Winnipeg Sea Bear Chad Posthumus says it is a slam dunk for the neighbourhood.

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Photo of revamped basket ball court in River avenue, Winnipeg on Sunday, July 7, 2024. Katherine Dornian / Global News

“You’re meeting new people, new friends, relationships that extend beyond basketball into everyday life. So I think this is great — we’re going to have a lot of kids out here that maybe don’t even know each other, haven’t ever played together, and now they’re here in the community, outside, playing some basketball,” he said.

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The area has been completely revamped after two years of dedication and founder and CEO Justin Lee says their volunteers worked tirelessly to make this place safe and welcoming.

“Initially it was one basketball court, one tennis court and an open space. So we actually moved the tennis court to the end, added an additional basketball court, and fully resurfaced the entire area and add(ed) new standards, backboards, rims, to make it playable because before it certainly wasn’t,” he said.

Lee said giving back to the community through sport can make a major difference for local youth. He says he hopes it will become a fixture of the neighbourhood and give more kids a chance to play.

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“I think it’s a place of pride for people to not only play the game, but to come and be in a safe space to enjoy the vibrancy of the court. And hopefully fall in love with the game that we all love.”

Sea Bears owner David Asper says he hopes having access to these courts encourages youth to dream bigger.

“And now aspire to improve their skills, to work hard — there’s an endgame for them. So yeah, I hope we’ve got some players out here right now.”

with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

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