Prominent Sheffield outdoor court set to be unveiled after renovations as part of Basketball England pilot project

As part of a new pilot project by Basketball England to improve the quality of outdoor courts across the country, the basketball courts at Sheffield’s Millhouses Park will be reopened this weekend following significant renovation.

The 2 court area is now sporting a new playing surface complete with permanent line markings as well as 6 hoops (2 for juniors and 4 full sized adult). The project totalled £14,000 and was funded by partners Sport England, Basketball England, Sheffield Basketball League, Sheffield City Council and the internationally renowned athletics coach Toni Minichiello.

“This is a great project,” said Sheffield based Minichiello. “The hoops and court here were looking a little bit tired, was there anything that could be done? How much would it cost to regenerate this area? That’s where the conversation came from and I’m glad to be involved.”

The new courts will be unveiled on Saturday 19th August from 12:30pm-2:30pm with Minichiello on hand to take photographs with those in attendance. Basketball sessions and playing opportunities will be available throughout the day with various local coaches and a number of giveaways will be on offer for fans and players as well.

The renovation in Sheffield is part of the wider pilot project across the country to repair rundown outdoor courts that can service a significant urban population. Alongside Millhouses Park, Brockwell Park and Larkhall Park, both in Lambeth, London, have already been completed. Two sites in Manchester are still to be announced, taking the total number of courts involved to five. This pilot aims to understand the value of redeveloping local outdoor courts and encourage other communities across the country to support basketball and bring existing courts back into use.

From left to right: EABL and NBL player Sam Van Oostrum (committed to USA college Franklin Pierce University for 2017/18), England and Great Britain international Devon Van Oostrum, Senior Delivery Manager at Basketball England Peter Griffiths, and internationally renowned athletics coach Toni Minichiello.

Peter Griffiths, Senior Delivery Manager for Basketball England said, “The completion of the Millhouses Park site is another step towards transforming outdoor courts to encourage use and participation. The availability of quality outdoor and indoor facilities remains a focus for Basketball England and we recognise that major cities such as London, Manchester, Sheffield and others present a real opportunity to get more people involved in the game at every level.”

Charles Johnston, Property Director for Sport England, said: “We’re delighted to support the improvements to these basketball courts which will be hugely enjoyed by local residents. Providing communities with facilities such as these, where it’s a pleasure to play, is crucial in encouraging people to try out a sport and live more active lives.”

Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks & Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is great news for Millhouses Park and basketball players who will now be able to play for free at the refurbished courts. We were thrilled to be selected as a pilot area for this scheme, and are sure the courts will be well used. Our parks in Sheffield have a huge amount on offer and this will be a further boost to Millhouses Park and all those that use it.”

For more information on the renovation of facilities, please email Peter Griffiths on peter.griffiths@basketballengland.co.uk.