Basketball League at the Crags

Friday saw the first South Neighbourhood Primary School Basketball League fixtures of the 2015-16 session.

Preston Street had a fantastic turnout of around 30 P5-7 pupils, joined by colleagues from a number of other schools including St Peters, James Gillespie’s and Royal Mile.

P5 pupils enjoyed their own mini tournament.

P5 pupils enjoyed their own mini tournament.

The session was split into two separate courts. On one court, the P5 pupils  were split into four mixed teams, each containing boys and girls from different schools, and played a series of round robin matches. Each of the teams was coached by a member of the U16 Blaze development squad. This was a great introduction to competitive basketball for the P5 players and there were lots of tired but happy faces at the end!

On the second court, P6-7 players played a set of competitive fixtures (wearing our smart new basketball uniforms!) . There were four teams – St Peter’s, James Gillespie’s, Preston Street P7 and Preston Street P6.

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The P6/7 tournament was very competitive.

Both our teams performed admirably on the day. The P7 team had a very good win against James Gillespie’s, and also beat their P6 counterparts in a game played in an atmosphere of ‘friendly rivalry!’ They lost out to an excellent St Peter’s side who won all their matches over the course of the afternoon.

Our P6 team worked very well together and they have really benefited from working together in P5. While they naturally find it challenging to play against older pupils, they are showing real progression and we look forward to seeing them develop further over the next two years.

It is worth saying that while competition is an important part of all team sports, the ethos of the School Basketball League is very much on inclusion and co-operation, as the main aim is to encourage as many players as possible to play this great sport and develop to their full potential. The standard of play from all four teams was very high throughout, and served to demonstrate the role that the Blaze coaches have played in developing basketball across south Edinburgh.

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Action from one of the P6-7 games.

Another positive of the League is the way in which members of the Blaze Under 14 and Under 16 development squads help to run the fixtures, by refereeing, scorekeeping, coaching and helping with administration and organisation. These young people (including some of our own former pupils!) do a great job and are excellent role models for primary school children.

The next League fixtures will take place on Friday 30th October. Again, it will be a great opportunity for pupils of all ages and abilities to turn up and play competitive basketball.

Our basketball club will continue on Mondays (P6-7) and Wednesdays (P5) up to the October holidays.

There will then be new arrangements for the new term (21st October until Christmas). All our girls will be invited to train with the Blaze girls’ development squad on Wednesday afternoons at the Crags from 4-5:15pm. Meanwhile, all P5-7 boys (and any girls who do not wish to play on Wednesdays) will continue to train at school on Mondays from 3:15 – 4:15pm.

These arrangements will be reviewed at the Christmas holidays. We hope that it will be motivating for our girls to train alongside some of the best young female basketballers in Edinburgh, and there will be the opportunity for more of our own girls to join the development squad.

Another picture from the P5 event.

Another picture from the P5 event.

Finally, please remember that the Crags continue to offer open sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays (4-5:15pm) and Saturday mornings (10-11:15am). These cost £3 per session (our school training sessions, plus the Friday tournaments, are free.) Attending the open sessions is the best way to take your basketball skills to a higher level!

Well done once again to everyone who attended yesterday’s event.

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