Budding basketball players from the UK and Spain came together at the University of Worcester for an annual residential camp. A total of 75 youth players, including 30 from Valencia, took part in the week-long University of Worcester/Valencia Basket camp, engaging with coaches from the university, its professional basketball team, Worcester Wolves, and Spanish club, Valencia Basket.
Camp Director Dean Blake, the university’s Basketball Development Officer, said: ‘It’s gone really well. We have worked with Valencia Basket for a while now so from a coaching perspective our relationship is really strong, and the kids are really good and seem to have gelled quite quickly.’
A number of the university’s sports students volunteered at the camp, in which they also had the opportunity to achieve a Level 2 coaching qualification.
‘For the sports students, this is an opportunity for them to work on their craft as coaches and work with different young people, not just from Worcester, but from all over England and Spain, and to learn from the Spanish coaches and how they do things at Valencia,’ Dean added.
Among the students volunteering was Business, Economics and Finance student Inma Bautista, from Spain, who joined the university last year as a result of the partnership between Worcester and Valencia.
‘I wanted to be here because I was the first student to join the university from Spain, having taken part in the residential camps myself, and I wanted to show those coming to these camps how they can improve their basketball and that they can do as I did,’ said the 19-year-old. ‘Here you have the opportunity to study and play basketball.’
The collaboration agreement between Valencia and Worcester aims to promote the exchange of expertise, knowledge and co-operation between staff in basketball-related activities, including education and youth engagement.
Juanjo Rojo, Director of Player Development at Valencia Basket, said ‘We are extremely happy to be at this camp for our fourth year. It’s a pleasure to spend this time in this city and share a lot of good things with all the members of the university and all the campers. We’ve found the atmosphere as usual, great. For our players, it is very important to know another culture and way of playing basketball and have fun with other players that become friends.’
Mick Donovan, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Worcester and Managing Director of the Worcester Wolves, said: ‘Once again it has been a privilege to welcome our friends from Valencia to the University of Worcester. Our partnership continues to go from strength to strength. Following a series of positive meetings during the week, we hope to extend our basketball and education collaboration in the years to come.’