There is no doubt that our Gee-Gees are impressive athletes, both physically and mentally. Throughout the season, fans witnessed their strength, skills and overall understanding of the sport of basketball, and the passion they have for the game. However, their passion is not only fuelled by their drive to win a national championship, they also have other goals in mind. They want to give back to the community with what they have: knowledge and passion for the game.
It’s with basketball clinics around the region that the Gee-Gees basketball teams have found the best way to communicate their love of the game. Justin Serresse, assistant coach for the men’s team, started this new initiative. “We were looking for a way to both give back to the community and to increase the attendance at our home games.” The Spring Basketball Clinic tour began in April and will run until mid-June. This way, they hope to be able to appeal some of the children and ignite a passion for sport. At the same time, the clinics naturally served as promotion for the Gee-Gees summer basketball camps supervised by uOttawa men’s and women’s basketball players in July.
A combination of basketball practices and speeches from the players proved to be the perfect format for the tour. The feedback received after their visits was more than positive. “The teachers were really enthusiastic about the clinics, they truly appreciated the experience”, reported Serresse. The mix allowed the players to teach some basketball fundamentals but share their experiences as well. A total of 11 schools will have benefitted from this unique, enriching experience.
Serresse also hopes that this initiative will create awareness and interest for Gee-Gees basketball games. “Some other schools in the league like Laurentian and Lakehead have huge crowds every game. As we live in a bigger city, we need exposure in the community to get people to come to our games. We want to fill up the stands for the upcoming season.”
The University of Ottawa men’s and women’s Gee-Gees basketball teams would like to thank their hosts for making their first ever Spring Basketball Clinic Tour a success:
- Elgin Street Public School
- Charles H. Hulse Public School
- Lady Evelyn Alternative School
- Henry Munro Middle School
- Carson Grove Elementary School
- Barrhaven Public School
- Adrienne Clarkson Elementary School
- Forest Valley Elementary School
- Terry Fox Elementary School
- Churchill Elementary School
- Patro d’Ottawa
For more information on the University of Ottawa basketball camps, read our promotional brochure.