#AllGirls Basketball Crawley

We are joining Basketball England and the ‘All Girls’ campaign with the launch of an all girls local league and a 14-18 Yr old Satellite Club. The aim is simple, we want to get more girls playing basketball!

Basketball England’s All Girls campaign is aimed at engaging more women and girls within our sport as fans, players, coaches, officials, volunteers and ambassadors.

The campaign has three main elements:  

  • To create awareness of opportunities for females to play, coach, officiate or volunteer and shine a spotlight on the female role models
  • To create a new All Girls Ambassador network
  • To create new opportunities and sustain existing basketball activity

All Girls League

On Friday 25th October we are launching a Year 7/8 Girls category in the Crawley Basketball League (CBL). This will be the only ‘All Girls’ local league in the South East region, and one of the only leagues Nationally. Any girl wishing to play basketball, novice or experienced, will need to sign up and will then be placed on a team to compete in the league. Teams are made up of only 6-7 players, allowing plenty of court time to develop and learn through play. There will be 2 games played every 3 Fridays. We’ will also be looking for all female Referee’s and table officials where possible for these fixtures.

If you are in Year 7 or 8 and interested in learning/playing in a friendly environment then sign up here: https://stormbasketballclub.com/product-category/crawley-basketball-league/cbl-u13-girls-year-7-8/

Year 7 & 8 Girls Training

Monday – 5pm-6.30pm @ The Holy Trinity School, £5

Tuesday – 4.45pm-6pm  @ Oriel High School, £4

Saturday – 9.30am-10.45am @ The Holy Trinity School, £5

14-18 Girls Satellite Club

In conjunction with K2 Crawley and ActiveSussex we are launching a 14-18 yr old (Yrs 9-13) Satellite Club session on Thursdays 5-6pm at K2, starting November 7th. The cost of the session is only £1 and its aimed at filling a gap of provision in Crawley.

Crawley Storm Head Coach Karl Youngman said; ‘we have previously not been able to offer Yr 9-13 girls an outlet to play regular, competitive basketball, so I’m glad we are now able to do so.
All Crawley secondary schools have been signed up to competing in the North District for the Yr 8/9 and 10/11 girls league, so if any players enjoy this experience, now have the opportunity to play outside of school.’ He added ‘this is a great session for late starters or those that want to learn the game, try something new, or even just keep fit. We’re hoping to see plenty of new faces’

The U13 girls CBL league and 14-18 Satellite club fill a much needed gap in the clubs female provision. We currently offer training and playing opportunities for girls from Reception through to Yr 6 via our mini basketball sessions and Battle of the Borough League. (https://stormbasketballclub.com/product-category/battle-of-the-borough/).
We also offer elite girls the opportunity to play National League via our U12 & U14 Regional & our U14 Premier National league teams. The ‘All Girls’ campaign will naturally aid us in bringing the girls programme in line with that of the boys

If you want to get involved in the All Girls campaign then get in touch, and make sure to use #AllGirls on any posts!

Storm add Alexis Lewis to Coaching Staff

Storm Basketball Club and HTS Storm Basketball Academy are pleased to announce an exciting new addition to our coaching staff, with Alexis Lewis making the move to join the programme. Coach Lewis brings with him a vast level of expertise and knowledge to continue to add to the high level coaching delivery at Storm.

Speaking about joining the programme, Alexis said, “I’m extremely proud to be coaching with an established and successful programme like Sussex Storm and excited for the coming seasons. Working with this outstanding club – their coaches, players, and supporters – is an opportunity I had to take and I cannot wait to be part of our continued growth and future successes.”

Lewis makes the move to Storm after eight years coaching in the capital with the Greenhouse Sports programme and London Greenhouse Pioneers. During his time with Greenhouse, Coach Lewis has enjoyed countless successes at both a regional and national level – across school and club competitions. His resume of achievements is highlighted by an NBL Playoff Championship for the Pioneers Under 14 Boys in 2016 and a Dynamik National Schools finals appearance for Saint Gabriel’s College Under 15 Boys in the same year.

Storm are incredibly lucky to have secured the services of a coach with such pedigree, with regional and national experiences to draw upon. A stint with the London Regional Performance Centre saw Coach Lewis led the London Under 15 Girls to a 2nd place finish at the 2015 Regional Development Tournament; garnering the attention of the national coaching instructors. Success with the London Region saw Alexis selected to the coaching staff of the England Under 15 Girls National Development Programme, a position he has held since 2016 – and holds to this day in the newly rebranded England Talent Programme.

Alexis will be making the move to Sussex to take up a post at Holy Trinity School in Learning Support, meaning the players at HTS Storm Basketball Academy will have another high level coach to call on within the school programme. The role will allow Coach Lewis to assist with the HTS Storm 1st Team in the ABL, alongside Academy Head Coach Daniel Hildreth.

“The club is always trying to improve on all levels; not just the development of players but adding and increasing the level of coaches is vital to continue with our progression,” said Coach Hildreth. “It sends out a strong message that we are able to acquire coaches of such caliber to the programme. Alexis will be working with our younger players to instil the values and initial development that they need for a successful future. This is another huge step in the right direction for our club and we are delighted he is here.”

As part of his Learning Support role, Coach Lewis will as act as a mentor to our young student-athletes – supporting them to perform their best on and off the court. Already active within the National League programme, Alexis has been made Head Coach of the Under 14 Boys Conference team for 2019/20; working alongside Foundation coach Freddie Winton. Coach Lewis will also be taking an active role in the Local League programme by coaching in the newly launched Crawley Basketball League; while Storm Basketball Foundation will be calling on his services to continue add to the clubs on offer.

Her Time: HTS Storm launch Girls Basketball Academy Programme!

HTS Storm Basketball Academy are proud to announce the official launch of our Girls Academy Programme – following closely behind the programme’s rebrand to HTS Storm back in the summer. The female players at Holy Trinity School will continue to receive the expert provision of coaching, strength & conditioning and video analysis, whilst having the opportunity to test their skills in expanded competitive opportunities.

Girls basketball has been steadily on the rise in Crawley over the last four years, with the rapid growth kick-started by Crawley Cagers starting the first ever girls-only local league team in the town four seasons ago. After rebranding to become Storm Basketball Club in 2017/18, girls basketball continued to progress when the Crawley Storm Local League programme added further girls teams at the younger end of the player pathway. The 2018/19 season saw a number of major developments to the female side of the programme, when Crawley Storm entered two girls-only Local League Under 12’s teams, and the Sussex Storm National League programme entered its first female team at the Under 14 Girls age group. The growth of the club programme has continued into the 2019/20 season with the addition of the first girls-only Local League competition in the county as part of the Crawley Basketball League. Meanwhile, at the National League end of the pathway, the provision of Sussex Storm has expanded to offer three teams – Under 12 Regional, Under 14 Regional and Under 14 Premier. Storm Basketball Club are proud to be the only club to offer Premier girls basketball in the county, setting the standard for female competition in Sussex.

“This was the long term plan when we started the girls teams four years ago,” says Karl Youngman, Storm Local League Head Coach. “The girls in town that were interested in playing had no outlet to do so, so we followed the same model that we used to grow the boys programme – start with an Under 12 group and reset to add a team each year.” Coach Youngman continued, “Now with the club and schools’ programmes combined we have hundreds of girls playing from Under 7 upwards. We will keep going until the female provision and participation mirrors that of the boys.”

A dominant 2018/19 season in local competition saw Holy Trinity School capture Sussex Schools County Cup titles at Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16 age groups – before reaching the Last 16 of the Dynamik National Schools championships at Under 14 and Under 16. Hoping to repeat this success, the HTS Storm Girls Basketball Academy will this year compete in the Dynamik National Schools competition at the Under 17 and Under 19 age groups, with the lower school also ready to defend their county titles at Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16.

The expanded provision of the HTS Storm Basketball Academy to offer an elite outlet for female players across Sussex and beyond comes as a reaction to the growing numbers of girls engaging with the game through the work of the Storm Basketball Foundation. With over 300 female participants across the vast schools programmes and 50+ girls within Storm Basketball Club – the talent pool is there to push through the programme to compete at the elite level when they reach Under 19 competition. The progression of the female talent across the Storm programme was evidenced in summer 2019 when 20 players earned county honours, 3 went on to represent the South East Region and 1 earned National Team honours. Chennai Mushore, who has been with the programme for the last four years throughout its transition from Crawley Cagers to Storm Basketball Club, was this summer the first female player to earn Great Britain honours as she represented the Under 16 Women at the European Championships in Bulgaria. With players of Chennai’s calibre making their way through the foundation, school and club programmes, the need for an elite female outlet is clear.

The international recognition in the HTS Storm Girls Academy does not end with the playing prowess of performers such as Chennai, with Barney Blake stepping up to lead the programme as Girls Academy Head Coach. Coach Blake has recently represented the England Talent Programme as the Under 15 Girls assistant coach, while also being named Head Coach of the South East U13 Girls squad for the 2019 Aspire Tournament. Alongside the upcoming exploits with HTS Storm, the former Great Britain Under 18 Women Assistant Coach has also recently been appointed as the South East Girls Aspire Head Coach – evidencing the calibre of coaching that our HTS Storm players will receive within the Girls Academy programme.

“One of the reasons I made the move to join HTS Storm last season was their passion for developing the female game across the club and academy, along with the massive potential and room for growth,” explains Barney Blake, HTS Storm Girls Academy Head Coach. “The number of girls we have playing across all that Storm Basketball provides is mind-blowing, and some of the talent coming through will definitely turn some heads.” Coach Blake summarised, “We hope that HTS Storm Basketball Academy can become a legitimate option for elite girls across Sussex, the South East Region and beyond – an environment where they are supported to achieve their potential on and off the court, as they further both their studies and their performance.”

The launch of the HTS Storm Girls Basketball Academy marks the arrival of the first female Academy Programme in the South East Region, now mirroring the boys programme in providing a highly competitive option for girls across the county and region to achieve their basketball dreams without having to move across the country.

For more information about Holy Trinity School and the HTS Storm Girls Basketball Academy, please email basketball@holytrinitycrawley.org.uk to register your interest for the upcoming Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 16th October 2019, 6.00pm-8.00pm. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the Open Evening, we would be more than happy to set up an individual visit at a time convenient for you. 

HTS & Train to Perform Partner for 19/20 Season

Holy Trinity School Basketball Academy is going from strength to strength, quite literally!

In September 2019, the HTS basketball programme will welcome Train to Perform – who will be conducting the strength & conditioning programmes for our academy students. Having previously worked with Surrey Scorchers in the BBL and leading on the physical profiling & fitness testing for Deng Camp UK, Train to Perform joins the programme with a pedigree in game to match the vision of high calibre delivery at HTS. 

Head Coach Daniel Hildreth said, “The support we get from the Senior Leadership Team at the school is second to none. They have the same vision as us: to create the best opportunities for our students and, in doing so, aiming to bring in the best support to do just that.” 

With the introduction of National Team coach Barney Blake this year, the ever increasing staff list just goes to show the quality and aspirations of the programme. 

Coach Hildreth continued, “We genuinely feel that we have created a programme that has the potential to compete with the elite academies up and down the country. We have a club that runs from u8 all the way up to u19 academy basketball, which means we are able to develop home grown players and give them the opportunity to play at the highest level here in Sussex. We have been successful doing this over the years, but we are always looking to improve. Bringing Train to Perform on board is a huge step for our programme, for both the school and the club, and I’m delighted that we’ll have them working with our students from September.”

Train to Perform is lead by Liam Mitchell, who has just returned from Tokyo with the Great Britain Sailing team as they prepare for their Olympic campaign next year. Liam has also spent time with the prestigious English Institute of Sport, before working with the RFU supporting the England Rugby 7s program. The ex-BBL basketball player comes with a wealth of knowledge not only in the strength & conditioning industry, but also the specific requirements of elite level basketball. Investing in new state of the art equipment will assist with this process.

Liam said, “I’m really excited to be working alongside Holy Trinity School and Storm Basketball Club. These guys have already put a fantastic programme in place for the players, and having the opportunity to be involved in this is something I know will have an even bigger impact to their success.” 

“I was born and raised in Sussex,” Liam added, “so I am really proud to be part of one of the best junior programmes in the country and will do what I can to keep supporting players from Sussex to compete at the highest level.”​

Coaching Announcements

With Storm Basketball Club growing so quickly, we’ve been fortunate enough to secure 6 new coaches for the upcoming season. Ian Berry, Michael Kwentoh, Freddie Winton, Denny Burling, Keanu Kellett & Mark Chiang will all be joining our coaching ranks, further growing and developing our workforce across the Local League, National League and Foundation programmes.

Ian & Michael will be joining our Sussex Storm National League programme and come with a wealth of experience coaching at various levels across London. Having played NBL Division One last year for Hemel Storm, Ian is a product of Sussex basketball, having played for the programme when it was known as Brighton Bears, before moving to London & working with Greenhouse Sports. Michael runs Chiswick Gators, a successful local league programme operating in West London. He also has a wealth of National League coaching experience having previously helped NASSA to a Final Four appearance in 2013, while more recently working with Richmond Knights. In addition, Michael is a nationally respected referee who has officiated at the highest levels of National League.

Denny, Keanu & Freddie are Crawley basketball alumni, having come through the Local League, National League and Academy systems themselves, and they are now coming back to the club to give back to invest in the future. All are currently involved in the Summer Term of Battle of the Borough (BotB), and moving forwards the trio will be heavily involved in the Crawley Storm Local League programme, while Freddie will also be working for the Storm Basketball Foundation within schools in the area.

Mark has also been involved in the Summer Term of BotB as one of our new and developing coaches, with a background playing as a junior in Eastbourne.

National League Head Coach, Daniel Hildreth said: “This is great for our club, to not only increase the number of coaches in our programme, but also the quality that we can offer our kids. It is really encouraging that a number of the coaches are returning to give back to a club they once played for. We anticipate more coaching development opportunities coming soon.”

Everyone Active Partnership

We are pleased to announce that we have a new partnership with Everyone Active that will see basketball coming back to K2 Crawley, one of the town’s and Sussex’s premier venue! The new partnership means that K2 Crawley will be used for Storm’s mid-week training sessions and games. More information to follow.

Karl Youngman said: “I’m really excited to get back into K2 Crawley. As Crawley Cagers we had some games there when it first opened, but we’ve never had anything permanent. It’s the best venue around and central for everyone in Crawley. Having recently hosted a Battle of the Borough event and our National League trials there already, it’s given us a taste of how great this partnership will be. Huge thank you to Dave Downey, Sports Development Manager for Everyone Active at K2 Crawley for his help making this happen!”

Dave said: “We are really proud and excited to be hosting basketball at K2 Crawley. Our aim is to encourage people to be active more often, whilst also developing talent pathways from grass roots through to elite athletes, and this partnership with Storm will deliver this perfectly.”

Battle of the Borough

January 2019 sees the launch of ‘The Battle of the Borough’ (BotB), a fortnightly mini basketball league for 7-10 year olds (Years 3-4 and new year 5s). 

Players are able to sign up as individuals or with friends, and will be placed in teams based on their schools geography. Teams will play 2-3, 4v4, cross court games each week on lowered hoops.

Upon joining the league players will receive a reversible jersey to be worn as kit, and will be placed into team by their schools geography. It’s then time to battle it out for the borough title.

“Playing opportunities are scarce for this age group, so we want to provide a fun & friendly environment for new players to learn the game”, said Karl Youngman. “I was inspired by SCE’s City League, and wanted to create a league with a similar concept for players in our ever growing U8s, U10s & schools programmes.”

The 2019 Spring Term will run on Sundays 20th January, 3rd & 17th February, 3rd, 17th & 31st March, 1pm-4pm at The Holy Trinity School.

Blake Joins HTS

Barney Blake will be joining The Holy Trinity School’s Basketball Academy in January 2019.

Barney originally hails from Stafford, but has been based in Manchester for the past 18 months working for Basketball England – starting out in their Customer Service team, before moving to their Marketing team. Most recently Barney has been heavily involved in the Manchester Magic & Mystics programmes, being named Assistant Coach/Performance Analyst with the NBL Division One team, whilst also being named an Assistant Coach of the U18 and U16 Premier Girls teams. Blake is also the Head Coach of the North West Girls Aspire programme, having recently led the North West U13 Girls to a second-place finish at the 2018 Regional Development Tournament. 

In his time in the North West, Blake has also had stints with Myerscough College’s NBL & WEABL squads alongside the Lancashire Spinners WNBL Division One team, having been heavily involved in the Cardiff Met Archers programme whilst at University. In his role as a National Team Performance Analyst, Barney has worked with the England U16 Girls in 2016, GB U18 Women in 2017, England U18 Men in 2018 and with the England Senior Men’s squad in the run-up to, and throughout, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The role will predominantly consist of working with the students at the school in the ever improving programme. In line with this there will be a strong involvement with the club and the recently formed Foundation, working in the community and in the surrounding schools.​

Daniel Hildreth said, “This is a big statement from the school in hiring a 3rd coach. It shows the true dedication and commitment towards improving the programme. Barney was a natural selection, his attention to detail, passion for the game and instant rapport with the students made the decision very easy. We feel we have created very solid foundations within the school and club but understand it is vital that we continue to bring in new blood  to help the programme grow.​”

Barney said, “I am honoured to have been offered this new opportunity with The Holy Trinity School and Storm Basketball Club, and cannot wait to get going! This will be a big change for me, but it is one that I am very excited about.”

Karl Youngman added, “I’m really excited about Barney joining the school/club and bringing a wealth of experience. His passion for growth and an all encompassing programme alines with ours. I think he’s going to help push forward basketball as whole, in Crawley & Sussex”.

Storm Basketball Foundation Launches

The Storm Basketball Foundation will be our new community programme focused on growing participation from a younger age, in Crawley and the surrounding areas. 

The Foundation will deliver after-school clubs to the majority of the secondary schools in Crawley and will run a number of Breakfast clubs, curriculum time session, lunchtime clubs & after-school sessions at the local primary schools. 

Karl Youngman will take lead on the Foundation assisted by Jordan Richards, and will be delivering regular holiday camps, primary & secondary schools leagues/tournaments, community sessions & the ‘Battle of the Borough’; a new mini-basketball league aimed at 7-9-year-olds, putting the neighbourhoods of Crawley against each-other. 

“This is something that I’ve wanted to have running in Crawley for a long time, even back to the early days of Crawley Cagers. I’ve seen the massive impact that South Coast Elite has had on players in Brighton, and it’s inspired me, even more, to get something running here. I’ve got a lot of respect for Tom Ward, he’s done an amazing job with SCE. Tom’s given me a lot of guidance about how to run the foundation as effectively as possible,” said Karl. ​

He continued, “I’m glad to have Jordan onboard, and I think together we can make a real difference in the area. The ultimate goal is to get all schools regularly playing basketball, from as young as possible. The area has proved to be a hotspot for talent in the last 10 years, and we have only just scratched the surface. I’m excited to see what we can do next.”

Jordan said; “After working with a mix of players in Crawley last year, I’m incredibly excited to get started with the Foundation. The players from Crawley are incredibly hard working and bring a unique attitude to the sport. Last year I worked for SCE running schools sessions and being involved in camps, and I can’t wait to bring that experience into the Crawley area.”

Storm Launch New Girls Programme

Storm Basketball Club have decided to launch a U14 and below Girls National League Programme for the 2018/19 season. 

For the past 2 years we have had a link with Sevenoaks Suns which has allowed the female players in the area to access National League training & games. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Len Busch & his team for their support. We do not intend to tarnish the relationship that we have developed over the last 2 seasons, and will still continue to push our more talented/older players in their direction.

​This new programme is designed to be an avenue for all of the other girls playing basketball in the area. They will now have the opportunity to train/play at a higher level against their own gender, without the costs/transport issues raised through traveling to other programmes. This is a natural progression for the clubs local league girls programme, and it is important to us that we bring what we offer girls, in line with what we offer boys. 

​We started a girls local league programme 2 seasons ago and since then have produced over 40 female players in Crawley alone. This is still going to continue as ‘Crawley Storm’, but we will also run a ‘Sussex Storm’ girls team at each age group alongside this. Sussex Storm will be open for all female players in Sussex as we attempt to offer them a strong pathway into National League, something that has been missing in previous years. 

“I’m really excited about this next step,” said Karl Youngman. “We have over 230 boys playing basketball in Crawley, supported by our local league & national league programmes. It’s now time to match this number of players with the girls, and this is something that I will be heavily involved in the coming years.”

Daniel Hildreth said, “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our programme and provide opportunities for youngsters in Sussex. Over the past 12 months we have seen a massive influx of females in the area taking up the sport. It’s a natural progression for us to include girls basketball, it’s always been our intention and now the time is right.”

Sussex Storm will have U14, U13 & U11 age groups for the coming season. Trial dates will be announced alongside the boys in the coming weeks. Until then, make sure you come along to our girls open run session on Fridays , 6pm-7:15pm, £4 @ St. Wilfrid’s School.