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#PlayingOurPart | Lady Rocks take to the streets!

Basketball is mostly played on indoor courts, especially here in Scotland. But what do you do when indoor sports halls are unable to open?

As part of the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, restrictions were eased on 13 July to permit outdoor contact sport for young people up to the age of 17, subject to public health guidance.

Part of St Maurice’s High School Community Sport Hub based in Cumbernauld, the club caters for girls aged 10 and upwards and women. For the past month, Lady Rocks Basketball have been running sessions outside for our young members.

During lockdown the club has worked closely with basketballscotland, engaging in weekly group meetings to discuss the future of basketball and keep abreast of sportscotland and Scottish Government guidance, as explained by Club Coordinator and co-founder Lisa Palombo. 

She said: “We identified a suitable outdoor court in Kirkintilloch, which has been our base since restrictions eased just over a month ago. It’s been fantastic having somewhere outdoors that’s allowed our players to get back training.

Our sessions cater for about 40 girls, which consists of our U12/U14 age group on a Thursday, U14/U16/U17 on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and our seniors are just back and training on Mondays.

These sessions are spread across the week and we’ve combined age groups in order to respect and be less disruptive to the local community’s court."

“We want to make sure that when community members come to the court, we don’t hinder access. We are so grateful to the local community for being so welcoming.”

The sessions are run accordingly to meet safety guidelines, with a COVID station - kindly provided by basketballscotland - for the players to sanitise their hands and wash down their basketballs before and after each session. Sessions are also restricted to a ratio of one coach to 15 players.

Lisa added: “At lockdown we made the decision to suspend our club membership fees and will now look to put a nominal fee back in place to ensure the club continues to move forward. Our coaches are all volunteers, therefore all fees go back into the club to benefit our players."

“Society talks often about the importance of the health and wellbeing of young people, and at the start of lockdown we made it our priority to practically and systematically create an environment that maintained connectivity and engagement between the girls."

“Our coaching team put in place weekly Zoom meetings that provided them time to talk,

share thoughts and feelings and continue to learn. More importantly, the aim was to find ways where they could be together and have fun.

Each Zoom session had two inserts led by the players; one group took charge of the focused learning topics and the other prepared a fun activity. Learning topics included:

  • Understanding mental health

  • Healthy eating, hydration and sleep

  • Target setting

  • Qualities of a great player

  • Why do we play sport?

  • Lady Rocks principles of play."

Lisa said: “The girls being accountable for the learning task and having the confidence to deliver weekly was probably our biggest achievement. These mini workshops created

connections between us in a very different way, and without doubt helped ease the transition from lockdown to being back together on court.

Our coaches have been delighted by the effort shown on court since returning, but have been even more impressed by the individual care and concern shown for each other, which fits in nicely with our club mantra- Our Team Is Everything."

“The girls have loved being back together, their faces show this; they smile, laugh, giggle and are working harder as a group than we have ever seen."

"And if their determination to stay on court rain, hail or shine is to be used as a measurement, they are thriving!

On a personal level, the last five months has highlighted to me just how significant a part sport plays in all our lives; it extends way beyond the court. If they don't realise it now, I hope one day our girls reflect on the events of 2020 and see this for themselves.”

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