27th March 2023
Some of the girls participating in the basketball club
Competitive, teamwork, challenging and social - why these schoolgirls are enjoying basketball
A basketball club aimed at getting young girls active has seen 55 different young people attend since September.
Storm Basketball Foundation runs the free basketball club at Millais School, in Horsham, after school on Fridays thanks to funding from Active Sussex.
Bex Ashdown, head of PE at the all girls school, said:
“I think within the school it has built up a real enthusiasm for basketball. We have got kids coming who do not come to any other clubs.
“It started with five or six to start with and now we can have up to 45 at a time. Some of them have gone on to extra activities outside of school hours.”
When spoken to, a number of the girls revealed that basketball was not offered in their primary schools so they were thrilled when they realised they could play it at secondary school.
Rachel Roberts, 12, said: I like basketball, but at primary school there was no basketball so when I found out I could do it here I wanted to.
“Basically I taught myself by watching a few videos and practising at home. Last year I got a basketball hoop so I now play with my dad.
“I used to enjoy football but I did not really like watching it on TV because they all just cry for no reason, but with basketball they are more about the game. I prefer basketball as it is more competitive.”
The competitive angle is one of the draws for 12-year-old Pranavi Prasath.
She said: “I really love coming here. I love basketball and it is really fun. I came here to the UK last year and I did basketball in India after school. It is fun because it is competitive and it is about teamwork.”
Weronika Domanska, 12, agreed, adding: “I do it because it is competitive. It is quite challenging but once you play it it is really fun.
“It is good for me and it is an extra skill for life. It teaches you a lot, such as competition.”
For 13-year-old Kyla Hodgson it is the social aspect that she enjoys.
“I have always liked basketball and it is an opportunity to meet new people. I have made a couple of new friends in different year groups and it’s a social hangout. It is one of my favourite sports.”
Janeria Quansah, 13, added: “I have learnt a lot, it is really fun. When I am doing it I feel like I am making good use of my time. If I was not doing this I would be at home sleeping.”
For Karl Youngman, coach at Storm Basketball Foundation, it has been fascinating watching the girls improve during the last couple of terms.
One barrier he has had to face is teaching the girls they can be more aggressive when it comes to playing basketball.
“When we started it was like netball, but now they have grown in confidence and are a bit more assertive.
“It is the first barrier to breakthrough. Teaching them to get in their opponents face, stop them, play all the defence positions, use speed, and that everybody can shoot and defend.”
Andy Wright, Strategic Relationships Manager at Active Sussex, said how pleased he was to see so many girls active after school hours.
“This is what our Children & Young People Investment Fund is all about, giving targeted groups of young people the chance to get active whilst making new friends.
“This is one of six girls after school clubs that we have funded Storm to run and you can see the massive impact they are making in the Crawley and Horsham area.”
The Storm Basketball Foundation is a community programme focused on getting more children playing basketball at a younger age.
Its team of experienced coaches provides school sessions, camps, leagues and competitions to 5-18-year-olds in Crawley, Horsham and the surrounding areas.
The foundation is the base of their programme, providing a pathway into the community club and then into its national league programme.
Find out more about Storm Basketball Foundation here.