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Rockets academy has lift off

READING Rockets Basketball Club have announced a new Rockets Regional Academy at Park House School in Newbury.

The club is hoping to increase the amount of high-level basketball opportunities in the local area, while establishing a player development pathway.

The side compete in the second tier of British basketball, playing at the Loddon Valley Leisure Centre in Lower Earley, and have ambitions to join the professional British Basketball League in the near future.

Five time play-off champions, the club also has 20 teams across younger age groups and delivers more than 100 hours of coaching a week throughout local schools and youth clubs.

Established in 1997 by Gary and Matt Johnson, the club has always placed great emphasis on youth development, leading to all five members of the Johnson family receiving a Pride of Reading award for Family of the Year in 2019.

The club’s director of community programmes Steph Johnson said: “This new partnership is a really exciting one.

“Park House school have really grasped the vision of this and in only a short time have seen the positives of the programme for their students.”

Head of youth basketball Ben Fisher was excited to see the partnership grow: “One of our goals as a club over the next three to five years is to increase the volume of young people playing.

“The more young people we can get playing and active the better.”

Headteacher James King is looking forward to September, when the programme will take full effect.

He said: “It provides our students with further access to high quality coaching.

“We are super excited for September and our plans to also build the basketball programme into our sixth form provision. Exciting times ahead!”

Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to contact steph.johnson@readingrockets.co.uk