BASKETBALL: Stirling Knights has a fine programme for kids at senior schools – but now the go-ahead club has moved into the primary sector, and with impressive results.
With help from Active Stirling and the Cashback for Communities scheme, the club has started a ‘Friday Knights League’ for Primary five to seven pupils, both boys and girls.
“We already have an under-12 team, but wanted to go even lower and create a good pathway right up to senior level,” said Basketballscotland’s club development officer, Jay Runga.
“We have only been running for two weeks, but the response has been incredible. We have four cluster teams and it is already growing arms and legs. Now we hope to have an official launch later in the season.”
Les McGlasson, whose son Callum is part of the scheme, coached the under-12s at Stirling Knights and he is also involved in the new initiative.
“The four Cluster Clubs have their own identity – Wallace Warriors, Balfron Beez, Bannockburn Bulls and Stirling Steelers – and they train once a week under Stirling Knights’ player and Community Coach, Jack Burgess. Some of the senior school pupils also help out.
“We then have a mixed 5 v 5 round-robin tournament before each of the Stirling Knights Senior men’s home matches.
“It is great that the youngsters will now have a chance to start playing basketball at Primary five level and then follow the path right through to the senior team.
“We do rely on parents to help out, but it is working well so far and new members are coming forward each week. It is an exciting project.”
Wallace Warriors have hit some form and are the early pace-setters in the new league, having won six of the seven matches to date.
The 8-11-year-olds involved include Nathan Cuthbert, Callum McGlasson, Piper McGowan, Harry Thomson, Oliver and Ben Yarrow, Matus Bercik, Louis Martin, Andrew Martin and Shona Laverty.
The Primary Schools taking part are:
Balfron Beez Cluster
Balfron Primary, Buchanan Primary, Buchlyvie Primary, Drymen Primary, Fintry Primary, Killearn Primary, Kippen Primary and Balfron High.
Stirling Steelers Cluster
Allan’s Primary, Borestone Primary, Cambusbarron Primary, Gargunnock Primary, St Ninians Primary and Stirling High.
Bannockburn Bulls Cluster
Bannockburn Primary, Braehead Primary, Cowie Primary, East Plean Primary, St Margaret’s Primary, St Mary’s Primary and Bannockburn High.
Wallace Warriors Cluster
Bridge of Allan Primary, Castleview Primary, Cornton Primary, Fallin Primary, Our Lady’s Primary, Raploch Primary, Riverside Primary and Wallace High.