Village school are basketball champs at last

Linby School mini-basketball team
Linby School mini-basketball team

IT might only be a small village-school. But they sure know how to play basketball!

Linby-cum-Papplewick Church Of England are one of 53 primary schools taking part in this year’s Nottinghamshire Mini-Basketball Rallies, which are designed to promote the sport at a young age, with emphasis on fair play and giving your best effort.

And Linby were the comprehensive winners of a competitive Ashfield District rally held at Hucknall National Primary School.

The school had won only a handful of games throughout the past decade. But this time round, they took four out of four to top the five-team table, defeating Greenwood, Underwood, Hucknall National and Annesley.

Linby’s head teacher, Domenico Conidi, and team coach, Jan Mace, who is also deputy head, were pleasantly surprised that the team did so well.

But they clearly benefited from a link-up with the nearby Hucknall Junior Basketball Club to provide in-depth coaching for their players, which paid rich dividends.

The county’s basketball development officer Jimmy Smith said: “In my long association with the Linby school, which goes back to the previous head teacher, this is the finest basketball team Linby has had.

“It’s great to see a group of children come together as a team, all doing their best.

“Credit must go to the school for playing so long in the rallies programme without using ‘winning’ as an incentive for children.

“Instead they encourage enjoyment of the game, while learning life-skills for character development beyond the sport.

“It’s been a pleasure working with them and the many schools in the county who engage in mini-basketball.”

The rallies programme runs until June 7 at 11 different locations across the county. Almost 600 boys and girls, aged nine to 11, are taking part in an initiative first started by Notts County Council back in 1983.

Smith has been the organiser of the event since that time, introducing the sport to more than 60,000 youngsters.

OUR PHOTO shows Smith with the victorious Linby team.