Basketball flourishes on Donside

editorial image

Alford Basketball Club has recently finished its third season with teams competing at all levels for the first time.

The U18 boys and girls took part in the respective local league competitions on a home and away basis against tough opposition. The U12s, U14 boys and U16 boys all played in the monthly Regional Development Leagues organised by Basketball Grampian. The U14s made it to the final losing out to a strong Garioch team featuring several players picked for Scotland and the U12s went one better and beat both Fraserburgh and then Garioch to become regional champions.

Tullynessle pupil Tom Craik also earned a call-up to the Scotland squad after a successful season.

Alford basketball coach, Sorley Johnston said: “The success and enthusiasm of the younger players bodes well for the future of the club which has grown and developed considerably over the past three seasons.”

This has been thanks to support from a variety of sources including the basketball development officer, the Active Schools Co-ordinators at both primary and secondary level, the school PE department and many volunteers.

The club now has three UKCC Level One coaches and some of the academy pupils have also qualified as game officials and junior coaches.

Sorley added: “Financing such a venture is often difficult and the club has been lucky to receive support from the Magic Roundabout, who will be holding their next sale in Tullynessle Hall on April 28, for a new U12 team strip this season.

“Money for improvement to facilities in the hall and new equipment has come from lottery grants under the Awards for All and 2014 Communities schemes as well as from a fundraising ceilidh.”

Outreach coaching sessions by Sue Rhodes and David Wyllie to most of the Alford CSN primaries resulted in a mini festival held at the end of March. The winners Tullynessle went through to a Grampian finals evening at the International School where they won all their games.

“It was a tremendous achievement for such a small school and a credit to the coach Jane Craik,” Sorley said.

This year for the first time Alford fielded a senior men’s team. After winning a few friendly matches they lost out in the semi-final of the Simpson’s Cup to Portlethen. Next season they hope to enter the local league for the first time.

Despite healthy numbers attending the club is still looking for new players at all levels and ages. If you are interested get in touch via the website: www.alfordbasketball.leaguerepublic.com or simply turn up at one of the sessions starting next term. Tuesdays from 17th April: P5-7 4-4.45pm, S1-6 girls 4–5.30pm and S1-6 boys 5.30–7pm. Senior men meet on Sundays from 4–6pm beginning on 22nd April.