Students and staff at the sports campus of the College of West Anglia have a double reason to celebrate this week.
Firstly the college programme has been endorsed as an England Basketball School of Basketball – 1 of only 26 in the country (from schools and colleges) and the only one in Norfolk/Cambridgeshire.
It comes just as the team of 16 to 19 year olds is heading for another Championship win with the team having won every game in its eastern region competition, to give it the title for the second year running, and three of the last four seasons.
Doubly proud are basketball coach James Bamfield and sport and leisure programme manager Tommy Goode.
James said: “It is good that we are finally getting some recognition for what we are achieving. We run a quality programme producing some good players who have moved on to basketball scholarships at universities and into professional basketball and the club overall has made huge strides in the last few years.”
And he thinks the double success could see more students from across the region attracted and interested in joining the College of West Anglia.
Basketball is played in a number of Eastern European countries and a number of those living here originate from places such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Tommy said: “It is a great achievement for the college to have been recognised for the work we are doing in basketball both in the community with CWA Fury and our academy giving students the opportunity to progress on to careers in basketball either coaching or in other professional capacities. England Basketball School status shows we are running the best basketball programme for 16-19 year olds in Norfolk and we are looking to move on and develop the programme further.”
Through the work the college have been doing with the adult CWA Fury it recently achieved chartered club status with England Basketball. The closest are Oaklands college in Hertfordshire and SEEVIC in Essex.
The College of West Anglia sports campus have also set-up CWA Fury Schools of Basketball at KES and Downham Market Academy which have gone really well and it is currently setting up KLA and over time hopes these programmes will also get endorsed.
This season CWA Fury National League senior side who play in Division 4 (in football terms professional Div 2) finished the season fourth just missing the play-offs.
Two hundred people turned out to watch the last game with the grandstands out at Lynnsport.
“This is a great achievement – last year was our first year back in National League and we finished bottom, said Tommy Goode, sports programme manager.
“We are competing against teams who pay players, etc and our philosophy is to develop our own so most players are either in our Academy or graduates of it.
“Our Academy team beat our main rivals for the league title, Long Road, Cambridge, and so should now go on to win the league…… unless something crazy happens in the final few games.”