Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club have today launched a "JustGiving" campaign to help the club to take the next step in their development and contribute towards the National League Men's season costs.
"Our Men's side are already seen as role models for the young people at our club, but that alone isn't enough." said Head Coach Arron MacDonald.
"We realised during the 2019/20 season that our team were on the floor for a couple of hours a week - and paying a lot of money for the privilege - and competing against players where their school or university funded the team, and they had significantly more access to court time. We took steps to address this in the 2020/21 season, in terms of our access to the court, but having lost a year of basketball and fundraising - we need to call upon our alumni and the Bulldogs Family to support this project and help us take the next step."
The aim of the fundraising project is to contribute towards core costs for the season and level the playing field with some of the more established teams in the division. Also, pointing to the sharp increase in knife crime in the two years prior to the pandemic, West Suffolk's only Clubmark-accredited club can point to the IWill programme and a superb safeguarding record already - but Coach MacDonald believes that this campaign is essential in not only recruiting more talented players - but also in ensuring that his players are able to be more visible around the club.
"If our division looks the same as last season, we'll be the only 'club' competing - everyone else is either a university or a basketball academy - and they generally benefit from the scale of the organisation backing them, and/or significantly discounted court costs. By contributing to this, it means that our guys no longer have to think about whether they work an extra shift - and sometimes miss training - to pay to represent our club, and I believe this will give those players more time to be around the club, be fantastic role models for our young players and support the growth of the programme."