Photo By: Niagara Apex Basketball
Niagara Apex Basketball is a new, local, non-profit basketball club that seeks to foster a space where anyone over the age of eight can get direct training from basketball coaches at an affordable cost.
The club was started by Brock alum Andre Salmon who wants to provide local youth with sports training and opportunities to better themselves.
“I graduated from Brock with a background in recreation and leisure and major in therapeutic recreation, minor in psychology and now work as a support teacher for the District School Board of Niagara with students from grades three to four with special needs,” said Salmon. “About two years ago, I started this project since it pretty much merges my two skills and passions. I created this because I felt like a lot of these sports clubs, specifically basketball, were very expensive for youth to join and I wanted to make that difference.”
Niagara Apex typically offers private training, camps, clinics, physical literacy seminars and tournaments. While some of these activities will be limited as per public health guidelines, Salmon hopes to have more programs running as time progresses. The Ontario Government currently allows limited indoor training and practice for basketball teams. Physical distancing rules still apply when engaged in team sports, so any team practice at this time must be non-contact. This also means that there are currently no intra-squad competitions or games where defence or activity would result in physical contact between players.
Outside of programs for local youth, Niagara Apex Basketball also has a relationship with Brock and offers opportunities for some Brock students. Currently, Brock sport management students are able to engage with the club as either volunteers or employees and there is ongoing discussion for an official platform to be established where students studying in related fields at Brock could work with the club too.
As a non-profit club, Niagara Apex Basketball relies on donations and partnerships to provide its services. Thanks to these partnerships, the club is not only able to offer sports development programs but also educational support.
Presently, the club has a subsidy program for individuals who do not have the financial means to access some of their offered programs. Beyond the program subsidies, the club also offers scholarship opportunities for students that are looking to apply for college and face challenging circumstances.
“The whole motive isn’t about getting rich or getting money from our clubs,” said Salmon. “We want to be a leader in this domain so that kids and youth of all ages and races and abilities can look to compete, perform and develop themselves through sports.”
Niagara Apex Basketball is still accepting new members for their club and is also open to adults despite having a primary focus on children and youth. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit www.niagaraapexbasketball.ca/ to sign up and find out more information. Questions about the club and its programs can be directed via email to [email protected].