First published in Around Saddleworth
Saddleworth Basketball Club formed in 2018 by Keith Hilton and Phillipa Reddish. In recent years the sport of Basketball has become more popular than ever in the Saddleworth area.
The club now has several teams that compete in various age ranges in competitions and leagues run by the Oldham Sports For All Centre on Roman Road in Failsworth. A number of the children from the Saddleworth teams also impressed during the trials for last seasons Oldham Eagles National League team.
Several of the boys including Reuben McGonigle, Sam Reddish, Oliver Hirst, Oliver and Harry Kipling, Jack Hilton, Harry Jenner-Hall, Nico Gale were selected for the under 12’s team with Harrison Cowan and Sam Suban also both Saddleworth players being chosen to captain the teams.
Each of the selected boys was pivotal in the success of the team; finishing second in the National League only to a very talented Manchester Magic team, which was a great achievement for their first season playing together.
As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Basketball has been hit hard and it is one of the last sports to be allowed to return to practice and competitive play. This has made the outside basketball courts in our local area very important to the boys that wanted to continue to practice on their own. The courts however often have no nets attached to the hoops and believe it or not this makes a massive difference to a player on the court. The net offers a focal point to a player when preparing to make a shot. It offers perspective and range and there is no more satisfying sound to a basketball player than the ‘swish’ of the net when you make that perfect shot.
The courts on Churchill Playing Fields, Wellington Road, Greenfield and Greenfield Park, Ladhill Lane either had damaged or missing nets. Saddleworth Basketball club made contact with Basketball England who were running a programme named ‘Project Swish’. After registering the courts we were successful in receiving a set of brand new nets for each court. The nets were recently installed by players from the club, Harrison Cowan and Oliver Hirst who were supported by Graham Hirst from Gandtrack Ltd Oldham who kindly sponsors a number of the teams supplying kit and first aid equipment.
Graham made the following comments “This is a fantastic project run by Basketball England who has supplied hundreds of nets to local areas in need across the country. It is great that Saddleworth Basketball Club has put themselves forward and taken the time to make the courts a better place for all in the local community to enjoy the courts. It makes me very proud to be associated with the club”.
Information on Project Swish can be found on Instagram #projectswish.
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