Scrutton Bland Partner with Ipswich Basketball Club to Deliver ‘Playground to Pro’ Primary School Scheme.

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A recent report from Sport England has highlighted the fact that more adults have taken up sport in Ipswich since the London Olympics than anywhere else in the country. The statistics show an increase of 9.3% of adults playing grassroots sport for at least 30 minutes a week and may have raised a few eyebrows of the more sedentary members of our community. But to the sports professionals who are based in our region, the figures are testimony to their tenacity and hard work: getting young people into sport, and instilling an awareness of a healthy lifestyle. And no one is harder working and more tenacious than Nick Drane, Head Coach at Ipswich Basketball Club and Academy.

Ipswich Basketball Club have been producing elite players in Suffolk since 1976 and the club is now one of the largest and most respected clubs in the UK. Many of their players have represented their country at both junior and senior level and they have also had players go on to play at professional level in the UK and in Europe. Currently they are running teams from Under-12’s through to senior national league teams, and Scrutton Bland are very happy to be helping them by providing sponsorship for both the Ipswich Basketball Team and continuing to support their ‘Playground to Pro’ Community Project, now in its second season, for 2016/17.

Scrutton Bland has been a major sponsor of the team since 2013, and the latest deal will see Scrutton Bland strengthening its support for the team by partnering with the club in their community-based work which takes coaches of the Basketball Academy into schools in the region and to provide training to the children. The project, which is in its first year has seen basketball activity take place in thirteen Ipswich based Primary Schools, with several more interested in coming on board. The long term plan is to branch out into North Essex as well as Woodbridge and Felixstowe.

Scrutton Bland Partner Tim Mulley said: “As an established business and employer in Ipswich and north Essex we are keen to engage with the local community and getting involved with local sports is just one of the ways in which we do this.

We have some talented sports men and women working with us, including one of Ipswich’s star players, Tyme Regent-Bascombe, who worked last season in our IFA department. We are committed to developing our sponsorship of the Ipswich Basketball team and the work that they do and we are delighted to be associated with such a great club.”

Ipswich Basketball Academy’s Director and club Head Coach Nick Drane added: “The Community Project is a great way of engaging children with the sport at a young age, whatever their background, and bringing them together to work as a team.

We have some terrific examples of players who have joined the programme at a young age and gone through the ranks to become elite sports men and women. Many more of them will not necessarily turn professional, but will learn life skills and ways of working that will set them up for a great future in terms of learning the values of hard work and fair play.”

Ipswich Basketball Club chair David Leach said: “We are very grateful to Scrutton Bland for their ongoing sponsorship of the team. They recognise the spirit of what the club is about, and this new deal with enable us to continue to work with local schools to get children into sport, and to find the superstars of the future.”

Scrutton Bland provide financial services such as audit, insurance and accounting for many local and national clubs, charities and not for profit organisations. If you would like to get in touch to see how your group could benefit, telephone 01473 267 000 or 01206 838 400.

Ipswich Basketball are responsible for organising and running the Ipswich Primary School Sports Association (IPSSA) Basketball Competitions, with this year’s finals to be held at Copleston on Wednesday the 13th April. IPSSA Chairman Andy Marshall had this to say about the programme: “The Ipswich Basketball Club’s coaching programme ‘Playground to Pro’ is a unique programme engaging primary school pupils across Ipswich. Delivered by young, enthusiastic coaches and players, pupils learn and develop skills whilst having fun, which creates a real passion for the sport. It’s fantastic to see a local company like Scrutton Bland supporting this. I am sure with our link to IBC many more pupils in the future will benefit from this programme and who knows, maybe even one day go from our playground to playing the game professionally.”

If other schools in Suffolk and North Essex would like to come on board with the ‘Playground to Pro’ initiave please contact Nick Drane on 07879 841 749 or email Nick ndrane@copleston.suffolk.sch.uk

Senior star Edson Ferreira is a coach for the Playground to Pro scheme (Image: Pavel Kricka)
Senior star Edson Ferreira is a coach for the Playground to Pro scheme (Image: Pavel Kricka)