Since 2002, the Hamilton Basketball Association (HBA) has kindly partnered with the Wever Community Hub to give Wever youth the opportunity to play basketball in a structured, city-wide league. The Hub works with several community partners including the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF) and the Tiger Cats Athletic Fund to eliminate barriers to HBA participation for Wever youth and the partnership has grown to support six HBA house league teams (72 children aged 8 to 13).
The cultivation of a “basketball culture” has a clear positive impact in the Wever community. Basketball has become a focal point for many Wever families, and games provide the backdrop for healthy community and peer interaction. Structured league play exposes children and youth to team play concepts and provides an excellent way for them to learn and develop interpersonal management and social skills. Other benefits include better physical and mental health, enhanced cognitive development, improved school attendance and performance, increased self-esteem and confidence, a sense of belonging and value, reduction of high-risk behaviours, active citizenship and development of leadership skills. The life skills gained by Wever youth through participation in organized sports give them the ability to function more fully as productive members of the Hamilton community. Basketball has become a strong incentive for many Wever teens to stay in school.