Church builds basketball court for Cloverdale neighbourhood

Sonrise Church is inviting basketball players of all ages to use its new outdoor court, opening this Saturday at Family Fall Festival

File photo

File photo

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Feel like playing a little one-on-one  or friendly game of pickup but don’t have a hoop, much less a court?

Sonrise Church has an invitation for all local basketball enthusiasts. The Cloverdale congregation has built a community basketball court, and everyone is welcome to come and use the space, says Jeremy Wolfram, associate pastor.

The church, located at 5588 188 Street, Surrey, began raising money late last year to build a court that would be open and accessible for the whole community to use.

“We believe that it is important for youth and families to have more outdoor spaces like this that are available to them for their enjoyment,” he said.

Lead pastor Chris Westby said each year in December, the congregation of 200 begins fundraising to support international relief projects, as well as national and local projects.

This year, the suggestion was to do something to benefit kids in the neighbourhood.

The church had set up a couple “ratty baseball nets” in the parking lot, but “they had been broken up by the windstorms of last fall. Kids were coming to our parking lot and were playing on these old nets,” Westby said. “But we figured the community deserves something better.”

The new court, located on the east parking lot, boasts everything a regular court has – proper three-point, key and half court lines, plus two adjustable nets that can be raised or lowered for use by adults or children.

It’s bring-your-own ball, and open any time.

For now, the outdoor lighting isn’t sufficient to play at night, but better lighting is among the future improvements being considered, along with benches.

In addition to neighbourhood kids and their parents, the new court is already winning over new users – students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Cloverdale trades and technology campus nearby.

Demographics show the area is unique in that there are a number of single-parent households run by dads, along with large families with lots of children – data they gleaned from a source with Statistics Canada.

The church, with its roomy parking lot, basketball court and modest playground that’s a favourite with toddlers, is a magnet for families looking for somewhere close by to take their kids, or grandkids, to play.

“We don’t have a school south of Highway 10,” he said, noting people are reluctant to cross the highway.

“There are no playgrounds, no basketball courts. There’s really nothing local here. We wanted to do this and have a place where the community can just come. We try to view this church and its property as a public place.”

The grand opening is part of the Family Fall Festival – featuring a barbecue, games, and family-friendly activities – on Saturday (Sept. 10), running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5588 188 St., Surrey. The ribbon cutting is at 10:30 a.m., and after that the court will be officially open.

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