RGU Women's basketball team

New RGU SPORT programme proving North East hunger for basketball

By Lewis Walker & Rory Anton - 26 February 2024

On Wednesday 14 February, RGU SPORT welcomed over 40 youngsters who took part in an engaging programme of basketball initiatives to widen access to the sport and grow excitement among its thriving community.

RGU SPORT Basketball Head Coach Rory Anton and a small team of volunteer coaches from the University’s Basketball Club organised and led a full day of activity for young ‘ballers in the North East.

In the morning, 29 young people from local club ACS Panthers engaged in a midterm camp which saw participants be put through the fundamentals of the game through stations on dribbling, rebounding, shooting and defence. These activities were followed by games against their own age group before a mixed round robin for all ages.

Afterwards, they were invited to watch RGU’s Men’s and Women’s 1s face off with Edinburgh University’s respective second teams in BUCS League action.

Head Coach Rory Anton was delighted with how the day panned out: “It was great to have local kids here on campus at RGU, particularly to be able to work with them in the morning to coach exciting sessions and build enthusiasm for basketball.

“For me, exposing these young participants to university basketball is vital in their development to see where one day they could be playing. We were fortunate to have two fantastic games and the atmosphere in the sports hall was one that will last long in my memory here at RGU - especially thanks to the two RGU wins!”

During the men’s game a cohort of 12 women and girls were invited along to an additional LOVE Basketball at RGU event. This allowed participants to meet players from the women’s team as well as receive a presentation from staff on female participation in sport.

Hannah Collins and Jenny Bruce spoke about their journey in basketball and competing for the RGU Women’s team, followed by a session from Joanna Bell, RGU SPORT Programme Development Manager. During this session they collectively engaged about aspects in sport that they love as well as the barriers they face as females and how they can be overcome.

Joanna Bell leading a session on widening access and female participation
The board reads 'how do we support other girls into sport?'
Female participants before cheering on RGU
Female participants taking part in a widening access session
Female participants taking part in a widening access session

The LOVE Basketball participants were then invited to watch RGU Women in their nail-biting 49-47 victory over Edinburgh which solidified RGU’s fifth place in Scottish 1A and provided hope that more wins could move them yet further up the standings.

The vibrant atmosphere in the sports hall was notable to all involved in the event and gave a glimpse into both the current and potential growth of basketball in Aberdeen, thanks in huge part to initiatives like this by RGU SPORT.

Gemma Hill, a third year Sport Coaching student, had been working with Rory on the events by planning and liaising with key stakeholders to deliver the programme of activity alongside her weekly sessions in local primary schools.

Rory added: “Gemma’s planning and delivery of the event was excellent and her ongoing work in primary schools is part of the basketball programme’s wider responsibility to grow the sport and engage more young people in being physically active. I cannot thank Gemma enough for her work over the six-week placement and I am excited to see where her coaching journey takes her.”

RGU SPORT has weekly basketball sessions open to all at the following age groups:

  • 5-6pm – 6-12 years old (Basketball Academy)
  • 5-6pm – 11-12 years old (Rising Stars)
  • 6-7pm – 9-10 years old (Mini ball legends)
  • 6-7pm – 13-14 years old (Young Hoop Heroes)

Block and session prices can be found across RGU SPORT’s social media. If you would like more information, please contact basketball@rgu.ac.uk

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