Hartlepool school basketball team are shooting stars

Celebrations from the basketball squad at Clavering Primary School.
Celebrations from the basketball squad at Clavering Primary School.

Staff and children at Clavering Primary School are celebrating another sporting success after the triumph of their basketball team at the recent Tees Valley Finals.

Having won their Cluster Competition in January, the squad of nine children continued their unbeaten run at the Town Finals at Manor Community Academy before travelling to Middlesbrough College to compete in this year’s Tees Valley Finals alongside the top 16 teams in the Tees Valley.

This event was the pinnacle of the competitive basketball calendar for 2015-16, which has given more than 200 primary schools the opportunity to reach this stage.

The Clavering children made it out of their very competitive group with four baskets from Kobe S (aged 9).

The first three quarter-finals went to sudden death shootouts before Clavering wrapped up a comprehensive 6-0 win in their quarter-final against St Peter’s of Brotton, with baskets from Laney S (aged 11), Macy T (aged 11) and Owen S (10).

Having drawn their semi-final against St Edward’s of Middlesbrough 2-2 (with another basket from Kobe), the children then faced their first shoot-out which was won with a successful free-throw from Kamil M (aged 11).

The children then faced Mill Lane Primary School of Stockton and performed brilliantly to secure a 6-2 victory with baskets from Owen, Macy and Kobe.

Kobe, who finished as the tournament’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ (MVP), said: “It was an amazing day for everyone involved. Clavering children in Year 5 and Year 6 have really enjoyed their basketball lessons with Mr McAvoy this term and it is mint to be able to say that we are the best team in Teesside!”

A delighted Neil McAvoy, who is the Clavering Deputy Headteacher and who directs the award-winning ‘Clavering PE & Sport Programme’, said the children’s performance throughout the three competitions had been outstanding.

“It has been particularly pleasing to see how each member of the squad has made a significant contribution during their time on court and it was great to see both Hartlepool schools – Clavering and Sacred Heart – make the semi-finals at this year’s Tees Valley Finals,” he said.

“For us to then win the whole event for Clavering and the town of Hartlepool is, without doubt, one of our greatest competitive sport achievements!”

Clavering headteacher Helen O’Brien said: “To reach the Tees Valley Finals in any sport is an outstanding achievement.

“We have now reached county-level finals in seven different sports already this year (tag rugby, football, table tennis, orienteering, athletics, dodgeball and basketball) which is truly extraordinary and is testimony to the exceptional quality and level of commitment of the Clavering staff and children.

“It is no surprise to me that the Youth Sport Trust has recruited Mr McAvoy to join their national team of ambassadors to help develop PE and school sport nationally. Thankfully, he’ll still be staying with us at Clavering as well!”