Hoop dreams come true

As Burlington Danes Basketball Academy is launched

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Hoop dreams will come true at a new Saturday basketball school at Burlington Danes Academy, in Shepherd's Bush.

The Burlington Danes Basketball Academy (BDBA) will offer free professional coaching to local primary and secondary school children - encouraging talented youngsters to compete in London-wide and national tournaments.

Set up with a £7,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, BDBA will be run by H & F Council's school sport coordinator partnership and professional coaches from Not Just Coaching. The scheme will be based at and supported by Burlington Danes Academy, which is due to expand its sports and arts facilities as part of a £15 million redevelopment of the school.

From 3 March, BDBA will run Saturday sessions between 10am and 11.15am for local primary pupils aged 9 - 11 and from 11.30am - 12.45pm for secondary students aged 11 - 14.

The community sports programme, which will have 30 places for each age group, is open to children and young people who live or go to school in the Shepherds Bush area.

Talented youngsters will be selected to compete in the annual London Mini-Games (for primary pupils) and children with good attendance at BDBA will get the chance to go on a two-week summer sports camp. The basketball academy also hopes to establish links with successful local club Westside Basketball, which trains at Burlington Danes sports hall.

H & F Council's school sports coordinator partnership, which is running BDBA in conjunction with Burlington Danes Academy, has been established to improve the standard of PE and sport in schools and to involve pupils in a greater variety of sports.

Carlos Munoz, school sports coordinator for BDBA, said, "I want to create a top class basketball academy, staffed by experienced coaches, to nurture talented young players of the future. This will benefit students at Burlington Danes Academy as well as neighbouring primary and secondary schools. We are also hoping to attract young people who live in the area."

Spokey Wheeler, principal of Burlington Danes Academy, said, "The Burlington Danes Basketball Academy will play a vital role in developing children and young people's sporting and social skills as well as improving their all-round motivation and achievement. BDBA will benefit our students as well as reaching out to the local community and giving other local children a chance to enjoy our excellent sports facilities."

Cllr Antony Lillis, cabinet member for children's services, said, "This is an excellent new initiative which will put Burlington Danes Academy at the heart of the community as well as giving children and young people from a wide age range the chance to enjoy sporting success. We want to raise the profile of sport for young people in the borough and play our part in developing sporting talent."

To find out more about BDBA contact Carlos Munoz on 020 7385 0091 / 07983 287768 or email carlos.munoz@burlingtondanes.org


February 2, 2007