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“I’m so proud of our girls” – Coach Fe

Last week, three of my students from Clapton Girls Academy were selected to attend a prestigious Basketball England under-14s training camp this summer. For me this is testament to the hard work and dedication these girls have demonstrated over the last few years.

From having basic knowledge of basketball to being identified as having the potential to represent your country in a sport is a fantastic achievement. I am so proud of Aaliyah, Alecia and Jade, and I hope very much that they are an inspiration to others who would like to follow in their footsteps.

I have been working with Aaliyah and Alecia since Year 5 when they attended Millfields primary school across the road from Clapton Girls. I met them when delivering some basketball taster lessons and after seeing their enthusiasm, invited them to attend community training on Saturday mornings.

Jade joined the program two years later when she started at Clapton in Year 7, she also happens to be in the same form class as Aaliyah and Alecia. It has been a pleasure to see the progress the trio have all made as their confidence, skills and fitness improved. As a team sport, basketball makes all the young people better at communicating and supporting each other, as well as encouraging discipline.

These girls have been setting a strong example to others as part of our training programme; they worked hard all season in both training and games at a variety of levels, from Greenhouse internal leagues to National leagues, playing up to U18 level. I firmly believe that ‘attitude determines altitude’ and these girls are a fine example of how powerful the right attitude can be.

The strength of our basketball program here at Clapton Girls Academy is down to the coaching staff being able to offer a full range of opportunities for the full range of students we have. We couldn’t do what we do without the incredible support of the PE team at the school. The Greenhouse coaches are welcomed here as fully integrated members of school staff, so much so that they want more of us and are getting a tennis program in September!

We have been lucky to have had some inspirational role models for the girls both in Coach Diana and also in former Clapton Girls student Wura Ijelu. These women have inspired excellence in sport through constant demonstration of commitment, effort and attention to detail. I am very proud of the program we have here at Clapton Girls Academy, so well done to all our participants and coaches, and a special well done to Aaliyah, Alecia and Jade.