Slam Dunk as Active Sussex CEO shows ‘This Girl Can’ has no age limit
Active Sussex Chief Executive, Sadie Mason MBE, is proving that 'This Girl Can' has no age limit as she prepares to lead the Great British Women's Masters Basketball Team on the world stage.
Sadie, who won a top honour at the 2018 Business Women Excellence Awards last month, will captain the 50+ age group team and is one of four Sussex players to have been included in the two female basketball teams representing GB, who travel to the city of Espoo, Helsinki on 25 July 2019.
The current Brighton Cougars player will be joined by fellow teammates Emma Erridge, who will captain the 40+ GB Women's Masters team, Karen Greene, and Anne-Mette Strom-Nyborg.
Sussex coach David Mason and physio Stephen Newland complete the county's super six representation.
Great Britain will make its World Championship debut at the 15th FIMBA World Maxibasketball Championships, as they compete against the best players in their age category from across the world.
The global event, held every two years by FIMBA [Federation of International Masters Basketball], expects to attract over 3500 active basketball participants aged 35 and above, with the oldest age competition category being 75 and upwards.
The competition is a great celebration of sport and will see former national and international players rolling back the years to play in their national colours again.
Driven on a voluntary basis by former Eastbourne Lions Women Basketball Club player Sadie, the two GB teams will be the first ever British teams to take part in a World Basketball Championship, since gaining FIMBA membership earlier this year.
A 21-player squad has been selected after training and selection sessions held in London and Leicester over the summer. The teams will compete in the 40+ and 50+ competition categories with the possibility of being drawn alongside world leading basketball powerhouses such as the USA, Russia, Serbia, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.
Speaking of her aspirations for the teams, the former GB and England international basketball player, Sadie said: "I am delighted that Great Britain has taken this bold step forward in joining the FIMBA movement, and opened up a whole new level of international basketball opportunities to older players in the UK.
"The team draws on eligible players living from both ends of the British Isles, from Cornwall to Scotland in the UK and I’m delighted to say that my home county is well represented, with four Sussex-based players in the squad and two of which have been named as team captains."
Currently there is no funding available to support international level basketball players over a certain age (i.e. 40+ & 50+), however Sadie has set up a Go Fund Me campaign - to help get the Great Britain's Women Maters Basketball teams to the World Championships.
"At the moment team members are totally self-funded, and with some coming from differing financial backgrounds, I decided to put the fundraiser in place to ensure all players could be supported equally to get to the event," said Sadie.
Team GB begin their training and preparation schedule in earnest between January - July 2019, getting together every 6 weeks, including preparation tournaments in Latvia and Spain.
Sadie, an advocate of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign to get more females into sport, hopes the GB Masters journey will inspire fellow females and those who do not participate in sport due to advancing age.
"Not only does it raise the profile of masters basketball in the UK and in Europe, it promotes lifelong activity and social inclusion for people who otherwise may simply have stopped engaging in sport for no reason other than advancing age. Well age is just a shirt number when it comes to basketball!”
The FIMBA World Maxibasketball Championships begins on Saturday 27 July 2018 and runs to Sunday 4 August 2019.
To help support the Great Britain’s Women Masters Basketball teams, please visit the Go Fund Me campaign