Nelson Basketball Association general manager Frances Tilly at the run-down and damaged Jack Robins Stadium outdoor community basketball court in Stoke. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Run down Stoke basketball court to get makeover


The backboards are damaged and beaten up, one of the hoops has been half ripped off, there are no lines, and rubbish blows around the Jack Robins Stadium’s outdoor community basketball court.

But not for long.

After several years of abuse, the Nelson Basketball Association’s outdoor court in Stoke is set to get a reviving facelift thanks to a group of local volunteers donating time and new equipment.

General manager of the association, Frances Tilly, says she was absolutely surprised and blown away when basketball volunteer Heather Walker told her she was going to fix up the court.

“Like a lot of grass roots sports we’re struggling for volunteers, so to have ours come along and say, ‘hey, I want to get this underway for everyone’, is just fantastic. These guys are all worth their weight in gold.”

Heather, who is spearheading the effort, approached the New Gate Company who fixed the gigantic fence a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, Nayland College students are creating new backboards, and new hoops and chain nets have arrived, ready to be strung up.

Despite being run-down and damaged, Frances says they still get a good number of people playing on the court everyday. She is excited to watch it turn into a fun basketball hub for the community.

“A massive part of basketball culture started with street ball and playing outside on the concrete with friends,” she says.

“So it’ll be great to see even more people out there with a bit of music on, throwing a basketball around and having fun.”

The court is open from 8am until 6pm during winter.

If you would like to help out, email Frances at [email protected]