NEWPORT — The Rotary Club of Newport is holding their 69th annual basketball tournament starting this Friday. The tournament includes three boys and girls divisions.
It looks like this year will be one of their most successful tournaments yet, with all Orleans county schools participating, along with St. Johnsbury, Bakersfield, and Stanstead, Quebec.
Raising about $12,500 last year, all profits go straight back into the community. The Rotary Club of Newport provides winter clothing to underprivileged school kids, as well as helping to stock up the local food shelves, and supporting local sports teams.
“The fifth through eighth graders get to play on a high school court,” said Sherri Sullivan, the chairperson on the Rotary’s basketball committee. ”It’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
They will have multiple referees, coaches, and even a rotary member or two who played in this tournament when they were younger. It seems to have a lasting effect on all the players as they return year in and year out, even as adults.
“It teaches them how to play well with others, play and grow as players, and sportsmanship,” said Sullivan. “Sportsmanship is what it’s all about.”
Organizers give out the Gary Rowe sportsmanship award every year to not only the team with the best sportsmanship, but the team’s coach and spectators as a whole who show the best sportsmanship. Gary Rowe was a valued and active member of the Rotary and a huge asset to the tournament before he sadly passed away in 2010.
”We just hope they have fun,” Sullivan said. “With the returning attendance I’d say there is no question that the teams have fun.”
Go support your local teams, Rotary and community, February 20 through March 1, at North Country Union High School.
For the full 2015 schedule, CLICK HERE.