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Coalfield Regeneration Trust Blantyre School's Tournament


June 8th, 2016 - In December 2015 the South Lanarkshire Colliers Basketball Club were awarded £1,858 by the Coalfield Regeneration Trust after a successful pitch at Coalfields Community Challenge Dragons Den event by club Chairman Graham Hunter.


The Coalfields Community Challenge was an opportunity for constituted sports groups, clubs or organisation’s from eligible coalfields wards to propose a project or programme that will increase physical activity levels in their community.


143 children took part in the approved project which was to provide 5 of South Lanarkshire's Primary Schools with 4 weeks each of free basketball coaching concluding with a basketball tournament to crown an overall winner.


The primary 4 focussed basketball programme included Auchinraith, St Josephs, David Livingstone Memorial, High Blantyre and Glenlee Primary School.


Teacher feedback: “The children really enjoyed learning new skills and the Tournament was excellent, it was a great experience for my class.”


“The sessions were well organised and I could see the progression through the weeks in the children.”


After their school sessions were complete, the children made their way to Blantyre Sports Centre to put what they had learned into practice. On the day the Active Schools co-ordinators provided three volunteers on who assisted with team sorting and score keeping as well as support from club partner Reach for the Sky Basketball.


The tournament consisted of multiple teams from each school playing a total of 4 games each across the day within 2 pools. The top teams from each pool played in a grand finale at the end of the day which saw St Joseph’s 4 defeat High Blantyre 2 to clinch the trophy (St Joes 6 High Blantyre 4).


The Teachers, support staff, parent helpers and the Active School’s Co-ordinators all helped lend a hand to make sure teams were on the correct court at the right time.


Teacher feedback: “I think other schools should have the same opportunity, it should be incorporated into the curriculum.”


The project was supported by the Active Schools team to ensure the lines of communication were open and very clear, and they acted as the liaison with the schools to determine what day and time we were able to facilitate the coaching sessions and tournament.


Active School Coordinator Tony Gilhooly commented: “the event was a great success with pupils learning the importance of practice and fair play over 6 weeks of great coaching prior to the event.”


“This showed in the sportsmanship and performance of the pupils throughout the festival allowing for a fantastic atmosphere.  


“We hope this event can become an annual event that can be a highlight for the p4 children of Blantyre Primary schools.”


Lesley Scanlan from Active Schools Coordinator who also supported the project said: “great partnership working, to enable P4 children of Blantyre the opportunity to learn a new sport and come together as a community to play in a tournament at Blantyre Leisure Centre.”


All participants have been encouraged to continue playing at their local Reach for the Sky Basketball Development Academies as well as attend Colliers trials in August.


Colliers Chair Graham Hunter added: “the tournament was a great day and the project has been excellent, we hope to replicate this on a bigger scale and provide more children with the same opportunity.”


“Our Club Development Officer Ross Hutton did a great job running the project.


“Huge thank you to the Coalfield Regeneration Trust for their support as well as the Blantyre Schools, Blantyre Sports Centre, the Active Schools team and Reach for the Sky Basketball.”


To find out where you can play basketball locally in South Lanarkshire please see here.

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