In the school year of 2015 I really wanted to have a school basketball team where anyone in grades 8-12 could come out and have some fun while learning the sport of basketball that I love so much. I have played on a basketball team, outside of school, since I was quite young and really wanted to have a school team.

With the help of my friend Carolyn, I wrote a letter to Mr. Langley (Principal) and Mrs. Croswell (Vice Principal) asking if this would be a possibility. They didn’t say yes or no right away but rather guided me in doing some research to determine if a team would be possible. I had to determine if we could find a coach, a place to hold practices as well as if there were enough kids interested in joining. Thankfully with the help from Carolyn and a lot of effort, we received the news that we would be able to have the first ever RCOA basketball team.

Carolyn (RCOA staff person) and Dion (a fellow student) agreed to be team managers and Mr. Easson (RCOA teacher) agreed to be our coach for the first year. Clean Sweep, a local business here in the Cowichan Valley, was kind enough to sponsor the team and supplied us with our basketballs and team shirts. I was very thankful for all the support I received in getting the basketball team started.

2016/17 was a great first year to introduce us home educated kids to basketball. Everyone that came out had fun and they learned some new skills. At the end of the season we played a game against staff and parents. It was a fun game but sadly the staff and parents won. They had the height advantage;).

Basketball 2017/18 is being played at a new location and with a new coach. Coach Jim Brandsma brings much experience, knowledge and love of the game to us each time we meet to practice and play. We are learning new skills and drills every week and we, as a team, are improving. Now that first term has ended we look forward to the second term where we will continue to build on our skills with the possibility of playing a game against another team before we end out our basketball year in May.

I am extremely proud of our team and myself for working hard even when it was challenging. It took perseverance and courage to pursue this dream and I would like to encourage others to take the initiative to follow a dream.

If you are in and around the Cowichan Valley and are a student in grade 8 – 12, contact Jocelyn (jocelyn@rcoa.ca) about joining us. Watch for a sign up in OTIS for the new school year for Basketball Club 2018/19.

Hope to see you on the court.

David Smith – RCOA Grade 12 Student
Carolyn Patterson – RCOA Support Staff

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