Weʼre raising £5,000 to help fund a semi-professional basketball team at Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club.
- 1 day to go
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Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club is the longest-running basketball club in West Suffolk, having been founded in 1983, and are our area's only Clubmark-accredited basketball club - and we are entirely volunteer-led.
We believe in the positive impact of sport on the lives of young people - and believe that basketball helps to teach positive life skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, resilience, commitment and respect.
We're a club defined by our culture - we work hard, we have fun, and we get better...
... and over the past few years we really have gotten better!
Since 2017 we've gone from just 17 members to over 250 applicants to be a part of our club.
We've seen a number of local organisations step-up to support our programme, and have made our Senior National League debut.
We've seen two of our Coaches gain regional recognition in Basketball England's 2020 Awards, as Joanna Brawn was named the Region's Most Inspiring Female, and Arron MacDonald was named Coach of the Year... and we've followed that up by recruiting National Cup-Winning Coach Hayley Rigby, and Army National Team Coach Benn Wathey.
Now we're looking for your help to take the next step...
Our Senior National League side is the top team at the club, and competes against a number of Universities and Basketball Academies in Division 3 National League.
In fact, during the (abandoned) 2020/21 season, we were the only club in our league which was not a part of a University or Basketball Academy. This means that our players pay for court costs and equipment - and that we're competing against teams who have daily access to the court, whereas our players fit a few hours a week in around work and education - and pay for that privilege.
We'd like to change this...
Our young players look-up to our Men's side.
They want to be a part of it one day - in fact, since 1983 over two-thirds of our Senior Players have played Junior basketball at the club. Our youngsters want to be seen as role models for the rest of our club... and we want to ensure that our players are in a position to live up to that billing.
Having positive role models for young people is particularly important in a post-COVID world - but also important in a county in which knife crime doubled in the two years prior to the pandemic. Our involvement in #LivesNotKnives and excellent safeguarding status has ensured that members of our volunteer workforce are trained to recognise signs of "County Lines" issues in young people - and that we can support them.
The COVID-19 pandemic robbed us of a year on-court, a year of fundraising, and saw a number of local organisations interested in sponsoring us having to step-back due to the financial pressures of the pandemic.
We will continue to seek sponsorship and run fundraisers - and we could of course charge admission for our games (though we'd prefer to keep this free and encourage the #BulldogsFamily to attend and support their team without further cost). As such, we're asking for donations to support our project.
Our aim with these funds is to cover our core costs for the season - in terms of court rental, registrations and competition entries - to ensure that our players are able to compete with the other teams in our division - to look at securing team transport for away fixtures and to provide professional team attire for all members of the team.
All of this helps us move from being an amateur, pay-to-play side towards a more level playing field - and helps us to ensure that our growing ranks of young players have role models to look up to - and a team to aspire to be a part of.
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Arron MacDonald started crowdfunding