'Neglected' Portsmouth basketball court gets a colourful £60,000 makeover

BASKETBALL fans from across the country turned out in force to celebrate the results of a community effort to transform a ‘neglected’ court into a colourful work of art.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 2:21 pm
Zach Robinson, 9, from Chichester, at the opening of the new Orchard Park court on September 18, 2021.

The Orchard Park basketball court in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, has been given a new lease of life with a £60,000 makeover that includes an original artwork across its floor inspired by Portsmouth children via a competition and designed by artist Hattie Stewart.

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To reach their target around £50,000 came from crowdfunding and individual fundraising projects, with a further £10,000 from a grant

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Tarryn Algar, 44, at the opening of the new Orchard Park court on September 18, 2021.

One of the organisers Annabel Innes, from Form and Function, said: ‘I coordinated the project to get art up on the billboards along Goldsmith Avenue last year. The feedback from everyone was so great so I was thinking about what we could do on a larger scale to bring art to this area.’

The 35-year-old added: ‘Seeing people here today makes it feel worth every moment of the struggle to get here.

‘It’s a joy to step back and see people using the court. The real reward though will be in a few weeks when we can see how it’s being used for real by the public.’

As part of its official opening people were invited to take part in, or watch, a series of basketball games – including two-on-two contests.

The opening of the new Orchard Park court on September 18, 2021.

Food, music and stalls were also there to entertain spectators.

Nine-year-old Zach Robinson from Chichester attended after raising around £700 for the project. He was sponsored to do 10,000 crossovers, a type of dribbling manoeuvre.

He said: ‘It’s really fun to be here.

‘I’m looking forward to watching the two-on-two. I’ve played basketball in Portsmouth before but I also play in my back garden and for the Worthing Thunders team.’

Tarryn Algar, captain of the over-40s basketball team for Great Britain, had travelled from Essex to play on the new court.

The 44-year-old said: ‘Basketball is such an amazing sport, it brings people and communities together like no other.

‘I’ve seen a few other courts that have also been painted in this way and it just makes it a more attractive place for people to come. It will hopefully encourage people to get involved in the sport.’

The transformation was organised by Project in the Paint, Form and Function and Chain Net Apparel.

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