On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August talented junior wheelchair basketball players from across England and the Home Countries took part in the two-day Lord’s Taverners National Junior Championships in Worcester with Thames Valley Kings members, Reece and Liam Barker joining the South East Region as players with Grant Barker joining as the assistant under 15s coach and Peter Rapley as assistant under 19s coach.
The converted Championships saw selected players represent their regions, in a bid to claim the tournament titles for the U15 and U19 divisions.
After an action packed ‘pools’ day Saturday, the Under 15s and Under 19s both went undefeated and qualified with ease to their respective Semi (U15s) and Quarter (U19s) finals.
On the final day of action, the U19s reached the semi finals beating Wales 20-8 before losing to the West Midlands 20 – 11 to set up a bronze medal match against Yorkshire. In the Bronze medal match, a strong counter-attacking second period saw the South East win 18-10 to Secure Bronze for the second time in 2 years.
The Under 15s faced a strong Yorkshire team in their semi final but strong defensive play saw the South East progress to the final with a 28-17 victory. In the Gold medal match the Under 15s faced a strong Wales team who supporters were loud and plentiful – Another strong defensive display saw the South East take an early 8 point lead before a second half comeback from the Welsh who battled right to the end but the South East held on to Win 20-17.
2017 Under 15s South East team picking up the first ever medal at the under 15s age level in style at these championships since the championships began almost 15 years ago.
Under 19s Assistant Coach, Peter Rapley stated “Another great weekend of Basketball with an amazing team of people! Made it back to back medals achieving bronze for the 2nd year in a row! And a massive, massive well done to our U15’s team who only went and won the tournament!! Great to have both teams medaling for the first time!”
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Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club
Thames Valley Kings wheelchair basketball club is a member of the British Wheelchair Basketball Association. The club has existed since 2004 and play their home games at either Kennet Leisure Centre, Thatcham or St. Barts School, Newbury. Training usually occurs on a Saturday at Kennet Leisure Centre, Thatcham and is available to everyone over the age of 8 regardless of ability or experience.
For more information on the club, visit the website at www.berkshirewheelchairbasketball.co.uk or contact the Jacqueline Scoins-Cass MBE (Chairperson) on 077775682987