The last year has been an absolute whirlwind at the club... Looking back just one year ago, I think we had almost given up hope of playing in the National League, and were trying to plan for the season ahead looking at a few local league teams and a junior team.
Jumping back to the present and we’ve grown our club to well over 100 playing members, have had our first season back at junior NBL and first senior NBL season, our local league teams are thriving in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, we have reconnected players with the game through our get back in to sessions, and developed a girls and women’s programme which is gaining more support by the week.
We became the only Clubmark-accredited basketball club in West Suffolk, and saw our players and Coach Jo Brawn heavily involved in the launch of Basketball England’s “All Girls” campaign. We also had our first player involved in the Aspire Programme, Basketball England’s talent pathway for national teams, and I’d like to congratulate Livia Jackson for her achievement.
Clearly, the season has finished more abruptly than usual... We don’t like to leave things unfinished, and there were still games to be played. Our club, in particular, sympathises with our Girls and Women’s teams, who were looking at getting more playing opportunities, and our Local League Men, who sat atop of the table with just one home game to play and were the likely league winners, only to be told their record will be voided.
Has the season finished how we wanted it to? No, not at all.
Has it still been an incredible season and one to celebrate both as a club and a community? YES!
To the players, I’d like to say a big congratulations for playing for us this season, you’ve put in the hard work required to earn the opportunity to pull on our jersey, and represent our club and our town.
To the parents who’ve brought their children to and from training and games, supporting them emotionally and vocally, thank you. We couldn’t do what we do were it not for your support and trust in us.
To the coaches who have guided our players on their journeys, your contribution is invaluable to our club and you should all be proud of what you and your teams have accomplished. Your work this season can’t be measured in the win-loss records, so instead we’ll point again to the growth of our club and community as evidence of the superb work you do for us.
And finally, to the volunteers; You are the glue that holds us all together, and I’d like to give a huge thank you for your time and effort in making this club what it is today - bigger and better than ever! Your input has not gone unnoticed.
This is an unnatural end to an exciting season, and whenever a season comes to a close, there is some attrition of members and volunteers. To those of you moving on, thank you for being a part of the Bulldogs Family, and know you are always welcome back.
To wrap up I’d just like to say if you thought the last twelve months were good - our next season is going to be even better! We’ll shortly be sharing some news with you all to establish what teams we run, and in which competitions, and I know that we’ve grown our coaching staff significantly across the club in preparation for all of this.
As a final message to the Bulldogs Family; I can’t wait to see us all back together, enjoying the game we love, and in the presence of our team-mates. Until we can step back on-court, keep taking every opportunity to stay active and develop, and most importantly, stay safe.