The Birmingham 2022 Small Grants funding received by Shrewsbury Storm Basketball Club in September 2022 aimed to celebrate and provide a legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The club, which has a thriving junior section, identified a gap in provision for girls to access the club. At the time, girls had the opportunity to play mixed basketball at a primary school age, but there was no provision for girls-only basketball or anything for girls aged 11 and above.

To address this gap, Shrewsbury Storm Basketball Club utilised the Small Grants funding to cover the start-up costs of a girls-only session. These sessions now run once a week at Shrewsbury Sports Village, providing girls with the opportunity to access basketball, be active, develop skills, and thrive. The primary aim of these sessions is to increase girls' participation in basketball and reduce dropout rates as they transition into secondary school and beyond. The sessions offer both social and recreational opportunities, as well as competitive opportunities for those who wish to compete.

Part of this funding also covered the costs of coach and referee courses to support this expansion of the club, with a drive to encourage women within the club to take up these roles. This investment in coaching and officiating not only helps to ensure that the girls-only sessions are well-supported, it also provides additional capacity and support across the club.

To drive recruitment Shrewsbury Storm Basketball Club have been working closely with Shrewsbury Academy and Meole Brace School, as a result the club now have an average of 20 participants attending the weekly sessions.

One of the participant's parents commented:

“She absolutely loves it, she’s in her element! Since attending the sessions she’s really grown in confidence, she found her sport.”

A player said:

“Basketball has been such a fun and positive experience and has helped me to make new friends I really enjoy the sessions; the coaches are positive and supportive. I really look forward to Sunday afternoons.”

Another player said:

“The coaches are lovely, and it is good fun and nice to have something unconnected to school clubs”.

Coach commented:

“The players have made great progress this season, we see their confidence grow each week. We are really looking forward to competing next season. We are very grateful for the support from the Commonwealth Games fund that has allowed us to reach new players.”

Overall, the funding received by Shrewsbury Storm Basketball Club has allowed them to create a girls-only basketball session, providing girls with a dedicated space to develop their skills, build confidence, and participate in the sport. This all contributes to meeting demand and making basketball more visible and accessible following the success of England Basketball's Men's and Women's teams in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Shrewsbury Storm Basketball Club welcome new players for the next season – please get in touch via email