Each year, we select teams to take part in several international tournaments in Europe.
In some cases, these form a useful part of the preparation for the Regional Development Teams. However, they are never a requirement for regional selection, and a major objective is individual player development.
Each event has been selected, as being appropriate to the developmental age and stage of the players involved. Generally, the duration is 6-8 days, with basketball action (usually at least two training sessions and/or games) on each day. This is a much more intense basketball experience than is usually possible in the UK.
Aside from the action on court, we consider building confidence and the team, some “cultural” experience of the host nation and, of course, best value for money in comparison to school and other trips of similar duration and quality.
Our staff teams are very experienced in running trips of this type: over 100 up to now! We work with colleagues in the destinations known to us for a number of years to arrange the best possible experience both before and during the tournaments themselves. This includes training and test games which are not available to most other participating teams.
The tournaments we plan to visit in 2018 (at all of which we have competed for between 4 and 13 years) are:
Under 13 (players born 2005/6): Tournoi des P’tits Prodigés, Longué-Jumelles, France. Provisional dates: 16-22 May. Travel by road and Eurotunnel. For a flavour of the experience, see www.dailymotion.com/video/x3bs8ww or www.dailymotion.com/video/x2rwxzo Un weekend placé sous la couleur du ballon orange avec toute la magie que peut révéler le basketball et le bénévolat : le sport, le partage, l’ambiance et la bonne humeur. Many think the generous hosting by French families is the best part!
Under 14 (players born 2004/5): Easter Eurobasket, Prague, Czech Republic. Dates: 25 March – 1 April. Flights from Bristol to Prague. www.eurobasket.cz A great week based in our training centre outside the Czech capital: training, test games, tournament of 150 teams, along with some of the great sights of Prague!
Under 15 girls (born 2003): Gniezno International Tournament, Poland. Provisional dates: 3-10 July. Flights from Birmingham to Bydgoszcz. Training and test games followed by a great summer tournament played in several different venues in the small city of Gniezno, and a day at the beach!
Under 15 boys (born 2003): New Generations Mini Cup, Rakvere, Estonia. Provisional dates: 21-28 August. Flights from Gatwick or Stansted to Tallinn. Probably our toughest tournament, with teams from Russia, Lithuania and Latvia. Good preparation, and some adventurous “off duty” activities.
Additional plans may be made for the Under 17 age group.