Worcester's successful basketball model could go nationwide

Evesham Journal: Worcester Wolves won a trophy at the weekend. Worcester Wolves won a trophy at the weekend.

FOLLOWING Worcester Wolves' success in the British Basketball League Trophy final, the city's basketball model could soon be replicated throughout the country.

An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is exploring how the sport, which recently had its national funding cut by UK Sport, could be used to address social challenges facing disadvantaged young people and promoting a healthy lifestyle and the importance of education.

The University of Worcester was invited to share the secrets of its award-winning success in developing basketball from grass roots to elite level as a centre of excellence.

Mick Donovan, head of the university’s institute of sport and exercise science, who delivered the presentation to the APPG at the Houses of Parliament last week, said: “The APPG is looking into the best ways of promoting basketball and how the sport can act as a force for good in communities up and down the UK.

“Our award-winning Learning Through Sport initiative has very similar aims, so we were delighted to be able to present evidence of our success to the group.

“It was a privilege to represent the many people who have been involved in supporting our programme and to be able to highlight some of the innovative work that we do. It was a really beneficial to have the support during the presentation of Lord Richard Faulkner and our MP Robin Walker.”

Mr Donovan co-founded the university-based side Worcester Wolves in 2000 and on Sunday the team, which includes a number of university students, won the BBL Trophy for the first time following a 83-76 victory over the Glasgow Rocks.

It follows the university's wheelchair basketball side winning the inaugural University Championships and the men's team securing the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) basketball title for the fourth consecutive year.

The APPG has been set up to maximise the potential of basketball, which, according to the most recent Active People Survey (APS) is the second most played team sport in the UK, after football.

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