Little BALLERS has kids off and running with basketball

As soon as a child starts walking, they have an opportunity to learn with basketball.

Little BALLERS is a program aiming to give young kids a chance to develop a love for basketball at an early age.

With locations available in Saskatchewan, including here in Regina and Manitoba, Little Ballers offers children from 1-8 a fun and interactive way to learn the basics of basketball.

Basketball net. (Julio Cortez / AP)

Local representative, Amanda McConnell, says Little Ballers “offers the chance of learning and basketball at the same time.”

She feels teaching the sport at a young age is very beneficial since basketball is accessible, with only a ball and a net required to play the game.

“Giving those physical literacy skills, hopefully the kids develop a love for the game now and carry with it as they get older.”

The program was started in Winnipeg by former University of Regina Cougars player Chad Celaire and his wife, Kim.

McConnell says that Celaire wanted to combine his love of sports and a passion for helping children.

“(They) Wanted to take the fun, energy, curiosity of kids and combine it with their love of sport.”

McConnell explains that Little BALLERS has five different groups, with each one customized to the ages of the participants.

“We have nets that adjust,” she said, “we use laundry baskets, small basketballs, the size of the ball grows as the kid does.”

“You’re doing fun, lots of learning, there’s music, laughter,” she adds that kids learn literacy skills like running, playing and creativity.

Kids aren’t the only group who enjoy the fun with Little BALLERS. McConnell said that parents are also a part of the program for the youngest participants, the Baby Ballers.

“It’s a nice opportunity for the parents to interact in those ways with their kids.”

In terms of the skills, the kids might pick up on the court, McConnell says they expand with each age group. She noted that passing with the younger groups may begin with rolling the basketball before they attempt to make an actual pass.

Being a part of a team sport is a valuable experience for all children, according to McConnell.

“The value of being apart of a team at a young age gives you a sense of belonging, that camaraderie, that fun, and then you can branch out into other team sports or continue in this one (basketball).”

The Little BALLERS in Regina run out of the Tuxedo Courts on Saturdays. McConnell noted that most of the morning groups are currently full, but there are some open spots available during the afternoon sessions.

More information about the Little BALLERS program is available at their website,

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