PCYC Hawkesbury plans major expansion, FIBA basketball courts

Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) Hawkesbury is planning a major facility expansion and upgrade which it hopes will allow it to host an International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women's Basketball World Cup match in 2022.

PCYC currently has a development application (DA) before Hawkesbury City Council for $15 million worth of improvements to its South Windsor facilities, including two new FIBA-approved basketball showcase courts with grandstands.

PCYC Hawkesbury club manager, David Zammit, said the courts would attract some big games to South Windsor.

"We're hoping we can get a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup premier game here, and hopefully we can hold some other high profile games," he told the Gazette.

"It would mean the Hawkesbury District Basketball Association will have two great courts to host their games, too."

In addition to the two new courts, under the plan, one of the existing courts would be turned into a gymnastics centre, and two new multipurpose rooms would be built for community use.

Mr Zammit said these rooms could be used for martial arts or dance classes, or for education purposes like the PCYC Rise Up programs developed by the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller to connect disengaged young people to workplace opportunities.

"The police have a list of Fit For programs and we're unable to do that until we have an education room, which is part of the plan," Mr Zammit said.

These programs include Fit For Work aimed at youth aged 15-17 years to increase their employment opportunities, and Fit For Life which is an early intervention program designed to engage youth ages 10 to 17 who are at risk of poor choices and anti-social behaviour.

There is also Fit To Learn which is designed to re-engage disengaged youth aged 14-17 into the education system, Fit Together to help Aboriginal youth aged 10-17 reach their full potential, and more.

"We'll have somewhere for the kids to come, a youth hub area for the kids to hang out and where they can liaise with the police and get them to understand that the police aren't people to get scared of, and get to know them better," Mr Zammit said.

Mr Zammit said the local community had been "very welcoming" and he hoped to be able to reciprocate by providing a "top facility for the local youth at risk".

Renovations on the existing four courts will begin around October or November, Mr Zammit said, and the rest of the work was pending DA approval.

PCYC Hawkesbury is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, but staff and Police are still on hand to provide support for young people who need it.