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Summer basketball camp won't run without more athletes

Summer basketball camps have been a tradition in Fort St. John for over 20 years, but have stopped in the last five. Margaret Olsen of FSJ Mixed Basketball is trying to bring the sport back to life this summer.

Summer basketball camps have been a tradition in Fort St. John for over 20 years, but have stopped in the last five.

Margaret Olsen of FSJ Mixed Basketball is trying to bring the sport back to life this summer.

The camp will be run by Net-Works Basketball, a non-profit organization that teaches high level basketball camps.

"They'll be teaching skills that...our students needs to develop in preparation to play post secondary. Traditionally the kids (who) have played in Fort St. John are only exposed to other regional athletes, so their skill level isn't as high as it needs to be to compete with people that want to go on, so they're at a bit of a disadvantage," said Olsen.

Net-Works coach Ron Hopkins has been coaching for over 25 years, including at King's University College, NAIT, and the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta.

But even with such a great program coming to the town, only one person has contacted Olsen about the camp.

"I'm quite concerned. Ideally we should have around 100 athletes," she said, adding that if she hasn't gotten substantial registration by June 10, she'll let the camp coordinators make other plans.

"I hate to lose them because they're very good at what they do, but I'm not willing to bring them up here for only a handful of children."

Olsen said it's just a great opportunity for the community.

"The athletes in Fort St. John should jump at the chance because normally this level of coaching is not available in isolated regions like ours."

Registration forms should be available in local schools, and if not, they are always available at North Peace Secondary School.

The camp will run August 9-13. There is a discount if registered by June 1. Registration, waiver, and cheque can be sent to FSJ Mixed Basketball c/o Margaret Olsen at NPSS or mailed to FSJ Mixed Basketball, 9616 -92nd Street, Fort St. John, B.C. V1J 5C9. For more information, contact Olsen at 250-263-8676 or molsen@prn.bc.ca. For more information on Net-Works, visit www.networksbasketball.net.

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