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Wednesday 25 September 2019

Solent University will be one of eight new regional talent hubs across the country in a game-changing partnership with Basketball England.

This initiative - which will place a host university partner at the centre of each region - will benefit young players within the talent system as well as clubs, coaches, volunteers and other support staff.

The hubs will play host to Basketball England’s Aspire Programme sessions and provide support to clubs and local league providers, as well as hosting workshops on coaching, officiating and sports science.

They will be supported by a team of students from each university with regional talent managers providing leadership and additional support.

Matt Bishop, Head of Sports Programmes at Solent University says: “We are extremely proud to work with Basketball England on this exciting initiative.

“We have a strategy in place to host and provide a structure for basketball in the region with an educational and sporting pathway. I look forward to welcoming some of the most talented kids on the South Coast to our brand new basketball facility here at Solent.”

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Stewart Kellett, CEO at Basketball England adds: “This is a top priority in our strategic plan, Growing Basketball Together. Today we’re taking a giant step forward linking grassroots basketball to world-class regional environments to nurture talent and become more competitive in international competition over time.

“This is a fundamental building block for our talent system to support young people, as well as clubs and coaches to achieve their dreams through basketball with the creation of regional talent hubs.

“Basketball relies so much on our voluntary clubs and the education sector, and today’s announcement is an opportunity for all involved in the game. Attracting support, expertise and resources from our university network and clubs which can nurture talent locally and regionally is something to celebrate.”

In addition to the hub partners providing valuable resources and helping to integrate and enhance player pathway, the students within each hub team will get the opportunity and benefit from work experiences that will increase their employability upon graduation.

“The hubs will not only provide support for talent but will also host development sessions and participation events, whilst linking with leagues and clubs to boost the local infrastructure of the sport,” says Charlie Ford, Basketball England Talent Programme and Pathway Manager.

Basketball England have formed partnerships with seven universities and one club in eight regions. They are:

  • North East – Newcastle Eagles
  • North West – Manchester Metropolitan University
  • East Midlands – Loughborough University
  • West Midlands – Birmingham City University
  • East – University of Essex
  • South West – Plymouth Marjon University
  • South – Solent University
  • London – University of East London
A further two regional talent Hubs remain under discussion and will be announced once agreements have been reached.