Basketball court upgrades a slam dunk for Rankin Inlet
‘Every day there’s a bunch of kids that always go to play there,’ says recreation director
Updated August 21 at 10:15 a.m.
Rankin Inlet is sporting a colourful new basketball court — the second one to get upgrades in the past year.
The hamlet installed the court, located at Victors Playground near Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik High School, in late July and it’s been a hit in its first few weeks.
“Up until school went back in this week, there were probably kids playing on those things until 11 o’clock at night,” said Darren Flynn, Rankin Inlet’s senior administrative officer, in an interview.
The court cost $140,000, he said. The North West Company shipped the materials up for free.
“We’re really appreciative when our corporate citizens step up to the plate and help us improve,” Flynn said.
The North West Company did not respond to a request for comment.
Funding came from several different areas, namely the Government of Nunavut’s Community and Government Services Department and the hamlet.
The GN’s Sports and Recreation Division put $20,000 forward from the Municipal Support Grants and Contributions program, according to a representative from the department who sent an unsigned statement to Nunatsiaq News.
Projects like this enhance the “health, well-being and the overall quality of life in Nunavut,” read the statement.
It’s been well worth the money, said Rankin Inlet recreation co-ordinator A.J. Curley.
“Every day, there’s a bunch of kids that always go to play there,” he said in an interview.
It’s the second basketball court to be refurbished recently. Last summer in Area 5, near the airport, the hamlet replaced a worn out, seven-year-old half court.
“The concrete was everywhere — it was breaking off. So we upgraded,” Curley said.
The recreation department will remove and store the courts over the winter in mid-September and lay them out at the beginning of July next year. Called a Flex Court, they’re made of a shock-absorbent rubber and can be moved or stored.
Curley, who became the recreation co-ordinator at the beginning of August, has his sights set on the next project in town: a new outfield for the baseball diamond and turf for the soccer field.
For Flynn, upgrading hamlet facilities means having a stronger community.
“If we can keep [kids] occupied with good, positive, healthy lifestyle activities, then it probably keeps them from falling through the cracks,” he said.
Note: This article was updated to include information on the construction of the basketball court.