Net gains for Ipswich Basketball Club

IT'S a busy time for Ipswich Basketball Club with five out of the clubs eight teams looking likely to qualify for national play-offs in the spring, meaning they will finish in the top four of their respective regional leagues.

IT'S a busy time for Ipswich Basketball Club with five out of the clubs eight teams looking likely to qualify for national play-offs in the spring, meaning they will finish in the top four of their respective regional leagues.

Plans are also advanced which will see a new men's team enter England Basketball's division 4 next year. The first trial to recruit players was held this week and the men's coaching staff were pleased with the standard and turn out.

They will be the role models to all the junior members at the club and will be expected to become fully integrated.

This will mean there will finally be a full pathway of competition right from the under eleven Ipswich Basketball Academy team through to the clubs own under 13s, 14s ,16s and 18s.

The club hopes the men's team will progress up the leagues fairly quickly but just like any club face large outgoings to run such a venture.

Court hire, registration, officials and transport alone total more than �7,000.

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Even once players subscriptions are taken into account the team will be looking for a major sponsor.

However with basketball featuring at the 2012 Olympics the benefits and coverage to a company could be substantial. Any interested parties should contact one of the clubs executive committee on the contacts page of www.ipswichbasketball.net

The men's team will be led by current under-18 coach Dennis Dixon.

Team Ipswich's Coach of the Year Nick Drane has also been heavily involved with the formation of the men's team as it was him that started the boys programme back in 2003. His own Tomcat under -4 team, have been busy playing their league fixtures and face an exciting prospect on March 21 when they take on Newham All Stars who beat them in London on the first day on the season by 26 points.

One recent beneficiary of a Team Ipswich's Sports Foundation grant Elizabeth Thurlow has been busy playing her club basketball as well as attending Area Performance training in London and England under-15 development squad training up in Wakefield every six weeks.

Ben Mead another beneficiary has also been challenged as he has stepped up from England under-15s to under 16s this year and was even strong enough to attend the clubs men's team trial this week!

Ben knows he must toughen up as he progresses through the age groups, and such exposure when managed is vital for his development.

Finally, the club has also recently launched a fun parents basketball session open to anyone who may or may not have played the sport before. It is successfully attracting a keen group of about fifteen.

The club welcomes any adult looking for some fun recreation basketball and welcomes new members. There are some elements of skill development but the most popular bit of the session are always the games. Anyone wishing for details should contact Kathryn James on 07748 320802.