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Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs continue to thrive during coronavirus lockdown

With the premature end to the basketball season two months ago, and normal sporting activities yet to resume, you would be forgiven for thinking that clubs might be struggling.

But that’s not the case for west Suffolk’s Clubmark basketball club – Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs.

Head coach Arron MacDonald said: “It’s true that the off-season started a little earlier than we’d have liked – and looks set to continue for a bit longer too. But our volunteers have continued to engage with our members and the wider community, and we’ve seen demand increase significantly for people wanting to play basketball next season. But I never expected the playing interest to go up quite so significantly.”

Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs head coach Arron MacDonaldn gets a message across to his players during a time out Picture: Nick Winter (34832279)
Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs head coach Arron MacDonaldn gets a message across to his players during a time out Picture: Nick Winter (34832279)

Having had only 17 players three seasons ago, the club had more than 100 players registered last season. And MacDonald is only expecting that number to go up.

Meanwhile, coaches MacDonald and Joanna Brawn have had their work recognised as East Region Coach of the Year and Most Inspiring Female, respectively, in the region’s 2020 awards. Both will now be under consideration for the national awards.

“Gaining the recognition that Jo and I received was humbling and wonderful, but there’s been so many factors through this crisis which have played a part in helping us to grow,” said MacDonald.

“‘The Last Dance’ trending on Netflix has drawn more eyes to our sport, and when they find us, they find a club who’ve continued to keep their members engaged and active despite the absence of in-person coaching.”

The club has run dribble and trick-shot challenges, and a fund-raising club quiz.

They have also launched an alumni programme and offered free webinars with renowned American college coaches.

This weekend will see them run their “>Basketball” webinar for club members.

The club is also in the process of bringing in nine new coaches across their age groups and have seen success in partnering with more local organisations.

With agreements having been reached with The Playground, Bury Physio, The Coffee House and the appointment of The Hub’s Rob Lancaster as the lead strength and conditioning coach for the programme, the club continues to do all they can to offer the very best for their members, and work with local organisations.

Anyone interested in enquiring about getting involved with the club can visit their website: www.burybasketball.com or email: bulldogsbasketball@hotmail.co.uk