Basketball takes centre stage this week with the 2012 Under-13 National Championships in action at the TECT Arena.
The event has attracted 32 teams from across New Zealand, including a boys' and girls' team representing the cream of Tauranga's best young talent.
General manager for Tauranga City Basketball, Mark Rogers, is pleased to host another national tournament so soon after the highly successful under-17s were staged here earlier this year.
"We put in a bid for the tournament with Basketball New Zealand and this tournament was originally heading to Invercargill," he said.
"But it was given to us because of the issues they have with rebuilding their stadium and also because we have this great stadium.
"It is great for the local community for us to be able to bring the tournament here. At the last nationals we had here we had 85 volunteers, so it is a fairly big commitment.
"We are very lucky that we managed to secure two in a year and it has a big impact for the families involved as far as costs are concerned, as they don't have to travel and find accommodation," said Rogers.
The two Tauranga teams competing at the nationals are not expected to feature in the semifinals, but Rogers says they are both looking to improve on last year's results.
"Last year the girls came 16th so we hope they will do a bit better than that. It is pretty tough as we still have some young girls in the squad, but we have a few back from last year who have a bit more size and we are looking forward to a better result.
"The boys are in a very similar situation. They have a young squad as well and again we are looking for improvement."
Rogers and his support staff have major development programmes under way to increase the quality of basketballers coming through the ranks at the younger ages.
"Improving the standards at this age group is definitely a focus. This is the entry level in terms of rep basketball and with our development programme we start at under-11 and build into the under-13s, 15s and 17s.
"The goal is over the years these under-13 groups will slowly progress and improve their results and we will see more kids picked for regional squads at this age group."
Play gets under way at 9am each day with finals set for Friday afternoon.