Changing the game for
Saskatchewan Youth

On any given day, you are guaranteed to hear the sounds of laughing kids, swishing baskets, and encouraging coaches at the state-of-the-art K+S Potash Gymnasium at HoopLife in northeast Regina. But a closer look shows that the benefits of Hooplife go far beyond the court.

The gym is a gathering spot for the next generation of basketball players, where they can shoot hoops, work out, and make new friends. From this foundation, HoopLife promotes positive growth and development of valuable emotional and life skills, celebrates the advantages of an active lifestyle, and gives youth hands-on experience building leadership and confidence.

The Power of Hooplife

Nick is a sports-loving ninth-grader who has been involved with HoopLife for the last few years, and the impact of the program on him has been profound. “All the coaches, the bonds, the friendships I’ve made – it just stuck with me throughout all these years,” he says. The program’s focus on mental as well as physical growth has been a key part of its success. “The coaches and people behind the program aren’t just trying to better the player physically, but mentally, too. They’re trying to grow them up and get them ready for the next phase of life,” Nick explains.

Growing with HoopLife

This approach means that Nick’s outlook off the court is improving, too. “My love for the game and all that started from HoopLife. It’s affected my free time, my mindset, the way I approached the game, the way I approach different things in my life,” he shares.

The program’s leaders, including CEO Andrew Gottselig and VP of Operations Zakkery Tamlin, made a lasting impression on Nick from his very first experience at the program. “The first time I went to a camp at HoopLife, Andrew was actually a coach on the court. He and Zakk coached me throughout the whole camp, and those first interactions stayed with me. How welcoming they were, all the fun, all the new things I learned, the competitiveness,” Nick recalls. That attitude imprinted on him, and inspired him to pursue healthy habits and routines, even when he’s not playing. “I have a better routine since I’ve been here. Getting up earlier, eating well and more healthy habits. Working out to better me and my mental health.”

“The coaches and people behind the program aren’t just trying to better the player physically, but mentally, too. They’re trying to grow them up and get them ready for the next phase of life.”


A Safe and Welcoming Space

To Nick, one of the best things about HoopLife is its ability to cater to everyone. “You could just start playing basketball and come to HoopLife, but at the same time, you could have played basketball for years and still come here. They coach anyone, from beginner to intermediate to pro. The coaching staff is amazing and so welcoming. It’s a place where you can be comfortable and be in a safe space, and you don’t have to worry about off days because there’s always someone there that will help you keep your head up,” he explains. This positivity even shows in how he’s looking forward to his future with the organization: “I see lots of things come out of it. Jobs like scorekeeping, coaching, helping run camps when you get to the right age. Tons of opportunities for everyone.”

The move into the new gym has further enhanced the program’s impact for youth like Nick. “I’m here at least three times a week – it’s one of the nicest gyms in Regina. I went from being just a little kid playing in a high school gym to now being here in this facility. It’s been great.”


Building a Better Community Together

Diego Orellana, HoopLife’s Director of Partnerships, is excited for the future, too. “We really try and impact all of these kids as much as possible, even though basketball might not be what they do when they’re older,” he says. “We couldn’t do this without support from community partners like Youth+Us. Thank you so much for allowing us to do what we do.”’