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It's a slam dunk for Trinity's community basketball programme

Published: 13th July 2017

Be the best that you can be – that’s the mantra of Trinity’s community basketball programme, which is run by Trinity Sport in conjunction with TAP. But in this case it’s not just a motivational slogan, it also stands for Basketball and Education Strategy for Trinity.

That strategy currently captures 200 inner-city primary school children aged 7-10 years who come to Trinity to participate twice weekly in a basketball coaching programme.

This year the programme, which has been in existence for two years, was expanded to include a Trinity U9 girls’ team who will participate in the Dublin ladies basketball leagues. While there are limited sporting opportunities for children living in Dublin city centre generally, this is particularly so for girls.

One of those behind the project is School of Medicine’s Professor Seamas Donnelly, who commented: “This initiative will align with a homework and mentoring syllabus whose principal aims are to raise self-esteem and the aspirations of young people to allow them fulfill their potential through basketball and education.”

Working with Seamas on the programme is basketball coach Hugh Kilbride, who explains: “Local schools came to Trinity a couple of mornings a week for coaching sessions. These were carried out by myself and our two American Victory scholars. The kids love the programme, love visiting Trinity, love the fun and games and love working with our American players.”

Hugh says they established the U9 girls’ team due to the absence of anything similar out there. “Currently there is no club catering for young girls in the entire inner city.”

The plan for the next academic year is to hopefully expand the community basketball programme even further. Their aim is to have a number of girls’ teams participating in each age group, from U9 right up to U18.

“The reaction from players, teachers and parents has been hugely positive and supportive,” says Hugh. “Teachers have commented that absenteeism levels drop on the days that basketball is on.”

Photo above: some of the U9 girls with coach Hugh Kilbride