Whilst basketball, like most other sports, has had its’ season end prematurely due to lockdown, members of Bury St. Edmunds Bulldogs had cause to celebrate this past week, as two of their coaches were recognised for their contributions to the sport in Basketball England’s Regional Awards for the 2019/20 season.
Coach Joanna Brawn was awarded the “All Girls Most Inspiring Female” Award, following a season in which she became the country’s first ambassador by Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett for the “All Girls” campaign, aiming to significantly increase female participation in the sport. Simultaneously, Coach Brawn has launched Girls and Women’s teams at the club from scratch, with Junior and Senior teams set to join local and national level competitions in the 2020/21 season.
“I wasn’t expecting this at all” said Coach Brawn “When Arron and I spoke over a year ago about launching the female side of the club, I couldn’t have imagined we’d have come so far in such a short amount of time. I’m just doing what I love, and I’m surrounded by amazing, supportive and passionate people who have helped me grow as a coach – and I’d like to dedicate the award to those people, and our wonderful club!”
The second award winner was Head Coach Arron MacDonald, who was awarded the Coach of the Year for the East Region in recognition of his efforts of growing the club from less than twenty players to over 130 in just three seasons, with the club now looking to compete locally and nationally, in junior and senior age groups, and offering basketball for both males and females.
“My only aim this year was to take a step forwards.” Said Coach MacDonald. “On the court, it turned out to be a pretty big step, but we learnt a lot. I honestly thought until a week ago that becoming West Suffolk’s only Clubmark-accredited club would be the highlight of our year, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am utterly humbled to have won this award, or to have even been considered for it when you think about the other fantastic coaches we have in the region. Winning it motivates me to stay on the path we’re on at our club – we’re going to keep growing and keep getting better.”
Both coaches will now be considered for the national award in their respective categories, whilst the club continues to prepare itself for the start of the 2020/21 season, whenever that may be, as they continue to look for new players (aged 9+) and sponsors to support the growth of the club.