Maddiston Primary proved they’re real sharp shooters when they won last week’s school basketball competition in Grangemouth.
They are already two-time winners of the local Jump2It competitions and won the national final at the Emirates Arena earlier this year. Glasgow Rocks players Gareth Murray and EJ Harrison handed over their prizes on Friday.
While Falkirk’s National Basketball Club – Clark Eriksson Fury have enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in their 22 year history with five National titles, schools basketball has never been stronger.
Primary School basketball has emerged as a sport that has captured the pupils and teachers imagination. With 24 Primary schools having competitive teams in the current school year, the standard and interest is increasing. Two of the Falkirk primary school pupils have made Scotland International teams – Jack Davidson from Bothkennar and Ellis Walker from St Bernadettes and Fury’s under Boys team recently won the East/Central Regional League.
With 16 schools in the national Jump2it program, 13 schools competing in the Falkirk Primary Schools League and several schools with teams taking part in friendly games, the potential for the local side, Clark Eriksson Fury and the High Schools to have players come into their programs is huge.
This weekend will see Fury compete in the Scotland under-12 Basketball National Challenges where the boys team will be one of the favorites. The Fury u-12 girls team has recently been formed and will face tough opposition in their opening games against Paisley, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
With over 360 primary school p7’s putting basketball down as their first choice to play in the forthcoming Active Schools Commonwealth Games Sports Day the interest in the sport has excited both Fury and Basketball-Scotland.
Fury Headcoach John Bunyan told Heraldsport: “This has been our biggest year in being involved with primary age basketball. There is great work being done by people like John Chalmers at the Grange School in Boness, Kirsty Muir at Maddiston, PE Specialists and teachers in all the schools and we are working at expanding the schools league.
“The fact there is a realistic pathway for players from simply being coached at school or in sports development classes to playing in school teams, then with Fury and of course being able to play International basketball which now starts with National teams at u11yrs for both boys and girls. The fact these Scotland teams play competitions overseas and at home is very exciting for the players. Its important our club work with schools, active schools and the Trust and give girls and boys the best opportunity they can have to play basketball which is a great team sport – high scoring and develops individual and team skills. We have a high standard of behavior in our sport and I know that is respected by parents and the players.”
With support from school staff, parents, Fury itself, Falkirk Community Trust, Active Schools and the governing body – Basketball-Scotland, the number of boys and girls playing is at a record high.