Thursday 13 June 2013

PL4S: West Brom girls realise hoop dreams

West Brom's U15 girls' team triumphed in the 2013 Premier League 4 Sport National Competition

Stoke City's U14s, who came second, prepare for the PL4S National Competition

West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers were the winners of the 2013 Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) National Basketball Competition this weekend.

The competition was the biggest yet with more than 100 young basketball players representing their nine football clubs in a fun but competitive day at the Amaechi Basketball Centre, Manchester.

"Before the programme there were 12 registered basketball players in Wigan. There are now over 350 playing every week in our PL4S satellites"
Chris Pearce

The competition was run in three categories: Under-14 Boys, Under-16 Boys and Under-15 Girls and each category had closely fought games.

The U14 Boys was run on a round-robin basis and the winners, Blackburn, remained undefeated throughout the competition. Their closest game was the eventual title decider against Midlands regional champions, Stoke City, in which Rovers triumphed 8-6.

The U15 Girls competition was won by West Bromwich Albion, who triumphed in all five of their games but it was a close-run thing as, at stages, any club could have put their name on the trophy.

The U16 Boys competition proved to be the big surprise, with a much higher standard than initially anticipated. Wigan took home the trophy after a 7-4 victory over reigning champions Manchester United.

Phenomenal year

Wigan Athletic's Basketball Officer Chris Pearce was delighted with the victory as it provided the ultimate finale to what has been a phenomenal year for the club's basketball delivery.

“It’s amazing for us to come here today and show how far Wigan has come in terms of basketball," said Pearce. "We started delivering basketball this year and quickly grew the number of satellites we were running due to the popularity.

"Before we started our programme there were 12 registered basketball players in Wigan and, as a result of our work, there are now over 350 playing every week in our PL4S satellites."

"The partnership with the Premier League clubs has seen more than 1,200 new participants become involved this year"
Matt Baird

“The weekend’s competition was a massive success and a fitting way to highlight the achievements of the clubs this year,” Matt Baird, England Basketball’s Club Development Manager, said. “The standard of basketball was extremely high, however, more importantly the competition was played in the right spirit, which meant that every young person enjoyed the experience and are eager to play more in their clubs."

Delivered by the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust and funded by a £3.8m partnership with the UK Government, the PL4S project provides opportunities for 11-16-year-olds to take part in sport outside school hours, increase the diversity of sport and improve the infrastructure and supporting links between schools and clubs.

“The partnership with the Premier League football clubs has seen in excess of 1,200 new participants become involved in basketball this year alone,” Baird said. “The PL4S programme has demonstrated that building effective partnerships with football clubs can help us attract new young people into basketball and then help them in their transition into their local basketball club.”

PL4S Basketball Competition Standings

  U14 Boys U15 Girls U16 Boys
1 Blackburn West Brom Wigan
2 Stoke Blackburn Man Utd
3 Aston Villa Aston Villa Stoke
4 West Brom Newcastle West Brom
5 Man Utd Blackburn 2 Bolton
6 Newcastle Man City Aston Villa
7 Man City   Blackburn
8     Newcastle

Share this page

Key Points

  • The 2013 Premier League 4 Sport National Basketball Competition took place last weekend
  • West Bromwich Albion won the Under-15 girls event
  • Partnership with Premier League clubs has seen 1,200 new participants become involved in basketball this year