The City of Wheeling’s Parks and Recreation Department hopes to expand recreational opportunities at the 36th Street Park via a Bankshot Basketball System.

Director of Parks and Recreation Jesse Mestrovic explained that the goal of this project is to improve the park’s accessibility and inclusivity through the installation of such a course that consists of various sized hoops and backboards that are configured at angles and as curves.

“The Bankshot system would serve the citizens as a free recreational activity for all ages, skills and mobility,” he said. “With its flat surface and non-aggressive play, this system is perfect for citizens in wheelchairs and walkers.”

WHAT IS BANKSHOT?

Mestrovic said the configuration of Bankshot challenges the player to apply critical thinking in addition to physical performance of shooting a basketball. Shots are taken from various distances for incremental points as players move around the course in a loop.

“In the words of Bankshot Sports, ‘participants play alongside, not against, each other,” he said, noting such a system would improve the 36th Street Park’s accessibility and inclusivity for the 645 children in Ohio County Schools with cognitive and ambulatory difficulties.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The cost of this project is an estimated $75,000, and Mestrovic is hoping to fund it through grants, sponsorships and community partnerships.

Ritchie Elementary School, Easter Seals of Wheeling and the Augusta Levy Learning Center have already submitted letters of support, but Mestrovic said there are still things members of the public can do:

• Spread the word — this is an opportunity for innovation in the city and the state

• Write a letter of support — grant writing is helped by letters of recommendation

• Connect the Parks and Recreation Department to organizations or businesses that would be willing to lend financial support

• Donate — all donations can be directed to the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley, Park Fund

• Volunteer — once the surface is ready, the Parks and Recreation Department will be in need of painters

View the full proposal here, and view example videos here.

For more information, call Mestrovic at 304-234-3641 or send an email to wheelingrec@wheelingwv.gov.

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