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I am the Chair of Exeter & District Basketball Association, and took up the reins from Dave Smoothy in 2018, having been involved on the Committee for a number of years covering numerous posts including Registrar, Assistant Fixtures Secretary, and finally General Secretary.
I was a ‘late developer’ in basketball terms, I was introduced at the age of 19 years old when I attended a sports course at South Devon College, and met two previous students of that well-known focal point for South Devon basketball – Churston Grammar. Together the 3 of us formed a basketball team for the college, and was ‘introduced’ to Andy Powlesland (who played previously for Churston and then went on a basketball scholarship to America – I believe), this was to show me what a proper centre could do.
How did we do as a team? Well, one of my favourite moments was going to the National College Finals in Nottingham and causing an upset by beating Exeter University, their best player was dismissed for punching me in the face – apparently, I can be quite annoying on the court!
My biggest regret in the sport came next, after my 3 years of college, and whilst really fit I didn’t touch a basketball for another 18 years or so! My work got in the way, and I missed out on what would have been some great seasons, I don’t regret much in my life, but I do look back and wonder what I could have done.
Coming back into basketball at the ripe old age of ‘late 30’s’, I have certainly made up for it, I referee at Level III, I am a qualified coach to Level II, I am a Level III qualified table official and love the game, but more than professional or elite, I love ‘grass roots’ basketball.
As a referee I have been fortunate to referee at Plymouth Raiders in front of a big crowd on two occasions, as a coach I took the Ladies Devon and Cornwall Police team to the National Finals and came 3rd after they beat the Metropolitan Police convincingly! As a player – I enjoyed playing, although injuries took their toll, but nothing a couple new knees and loss of a few stone couldn’t solve!
In relation to basketball, I like to think that that the league is here for the players, it can be an expensive sport as it relies on court availability and cost, as an Association we try to keep the costs as low as possible for the participants.
My ambition for basketball in the area would be to have a purpose built 4 court sports hall, that is economical by the virtue that it is environmentally friendly, and even a ‘non profit’ making organisation to keep costs low, but must be there for the community, and include a ‘show court’. There should also be a plentiful number of outside ‘painted’ courts for everyone’s enjoyment.
I would also like to provide access to basketball coaching for the younger age groups in schools, and monthly matches for the ‘also rans’, those that are good / great at sport gets lots of opportunities, but to see kids who just enjoy the game, and be part of a team would please me the most and provide something back to the community – that would make me feel like I have succeeded for the local area, and for basketball in the community.