- Glasgow Kelvin College and Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks start the year with their new intake of students to the Basketball Academy
- First 20 students to combine mainstream studies and basketball training opportunities
Twenty new recruits to the Glasgow Rocks Basketball Academy have begun their course as the first cohort of promising young players.
From across Scotland, young basketball hopefuls have landed a place at the Academy following a rigorous recruitment exercise and have now begun their training & conditioning sessions under the watchful eye of Gareth Murray, Academy Director.
Glasgow Kelvin College has joined forces with spectacular professional basketball team, Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks, to found the Glasgow Rocks Basketball Academy, the first academy of its kind in Scotland.
The innovative pilot programme is aimed at keen young amateur players who want to pursue a basketball career while also studying for qualifications. The basketball element of the programme will be provided by Glasgow Rocks and run in parallel with their studies on a mainstream course, undertaken at Glasgow Kelvin College.
The partners have recruited 20 young people to the Academy, where each has the opportunity to practice on a daily basis and play one competitive game a week on top of their full-time programme of study.
The young hopefuls are also studying on a wide range of advanced and non-advanced mainstream programmes at the College, including Electrical Engineering, Vehicle Maintenance, Biological Science, Business Administration, Fitness and Health, Computing/Digital Media, Sports Coaching and Sound Engineering to name but a few. This will ensure that the students also develop vocational skills and gain qualifications which will stand them in good stead for their future.
In addition, other Glasgow Kelvin College students on the HN Sports Coaching programme will also benefit from gaining real work experience by supervising strength and conditioning training sessions in the fully-equipped gym and sports facilities at Glasgow Kelvin College. Links with Scotland’s only men’s professional basketball team will also inject a performance element to the College’s existing sports programmes.
Over the years, the College and Glasgow Rocks have developed a strong relationship and Glasgow Kelvin is delighted to develop and expand this in a pioneering way which benefits the students and the college community.
Duncan Smillie, owner of Glasgow Rocks Basketball Team, said;
“The Glasgow Rocks Basketball Academy in partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College is an exciting initiative and we are delighted to have this first cohort of students on board. The Academy can make a genuine difference to their lives. Young people getting an education running parallel with a first class basketball programme gives a pathway to pro-basketball in the UK, Europe or even the US college system. The bar will be high for students as it should be but this opportunity could be life-changing for the young men involved.
We hope the Academy will eventually be extended to include a programme for female players too.
I would like to thank Glasgow Kelvin College for their passion and support for young people in Glasgow – it is quite inspiring and we are proud to have them as a partner. I am equally thrilled that we have Gareth Murray as Academy Director. He has one of the UK’s finest basketball minds and his leadership of the Academy coach and students assures a first class programme will be delivered.”
Glasgow Kelvin Principal, Alan Sherry, added;
“The College is pleased to welcome our students under this new partnership with Glasgow Rocks to establish the first Basketball Academy in Scotland. Each student has selected their own course while developing their basketball skills. Having the Basketball Academy will also provide real work experience for other students at the College. Together we are confident that the Basketball Academy will provide both learning and sports opportunities in an innovative setting.
We are delighted to welcome and support this group of committed students and look to the future of the Academy with real enthusiasm.”
Gareth Murray, Academy Director, said;
“The Basketball Academy has been running for nearly three weeks now with 20 students in various courses throughout the College while also training twice a day. We have hired a young aspiring Spanish Coach, Ezequiel Blanquez Sillero who has an excellent knowledge of basketball and has worked under GB Senior Men Coach, Alberto Lorenzo. He will be Head Coach of the Academy while assisting the pro team.
All students have shown the desire to be part of the programme and willingness to learn and progress. We’re looking forward to the year ahead.”
The students are pictured here with Gareth Murray, new Coach Ezequiel Blanquez Sillero and Alan Sherry, College Principal.
For more information on the Basketball Academy, contact Glasgow Rocks: email@example.com