Future Broncs sharpen basketball skills

The next generation of Ponoka basketball stars have been working hard during April and May at the Broncs basketball camp. The camp is run by local teacher Sheldon Ronnie at Diamond Willow school with 73 students in Grades 3 to 5 from all over the area.

  • May. 21, 2008 10:00 a.m.
Sheldon Ronnie

Sheldon Ronnie

The next generation of Ponoka basketball stars have been working hard during April and May at the Broncs basketball camp. The camp is run by local teacher Sheldon Ronnie at Diamond Willow school with 73 students in Grades 3 to 5 from all over the area.

“The philosophy of my program is to get children active, learn about basketball, make life long friends, learn fair play and of course, have fun,” said Ronnie. “I have done this type of camp in the past at Ponoka Elementary and had around 50 students involved. My ultimate goal is to perhaps have a little league in place down the road sometime soon.”

The camp runs twice a week with a total of 10 sessions, each one consists of 45 minutes of skill development and 30 minutes of fun games and three on three games.

Laureen Sandin enrolled her two sons in the camp Ashton, age 10 and Jaden, eight and thought that they were learning a lot at the camp.

“It’s a really good camp. They like it and they are learning a lot with skill development,” said Sandin. “It’s very skill focused yet still fun. The coaches are very encouraging and give specific feedback.”

Lori Frederickson enrolled her daughter Karlee, nine, in the camp after learning Karlee’s teacher, Ronnie was running the camp after participating in other local camps.

“I think it’s been excellent. They are very patient with the kids and it’s not competitive,” said Frederickson. “They are having fun and learning new skills and improving those skills.”

During the camp the students learned dribbling, ball handling, shooting, lay-ups, passing and fun team games.

As the session was over Karlee came running over to her mom to show her certificate for completing the course.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Karlee. “The best part was the dribbling, it’s my favourtie.”

The camp also gives a chance for current Ponoka Composite High School players Eric Dortman and Evan Hudson to give back to the young students as they assist Ronnie in coaching.

“I like to help kids, if they want to play I want to help them get better,” said Dortman. “When I was younger there wasn’t that many kids. Now there are so many, it’s great to carry on.”

Hudson says that growing up she had a lot of great coaches who helped her learn the fundamentals and this is a good way to teach younger kids the basics.

“Coaches have said that in Central Alberta that there are not a lot of opportunities for youth to develop and over the last few years it has increased,” said Hudson. “I think it is important to develop our area.”

Ronnie who also coaches at PCHS has seen some of his past students now play with the Broncs.

“It’s cool to watch the kids come up through to the Comp’, hopefully a few of them will go on,” said Ronnie.

He thinks that Ponoka is very well known for basketball especially in some larger areas and wants to help youth continue on the basketball tradition.

“I love basketball and I think it gives kids who are not successful another chance to be successful,” said Ronnie. “It is important for kids to keep moving and there are tons of hoops in town to play at. Sports are great to make friends at, I have made life long friends from when I played. It’s just not a team but a family.”