The Thames Valley Kings where represented at the Lord's Taverners National Junior Championships held at Worcester area 1-2nd August 2015 in the U15, U19 team, coaching and officiating volunteer staff. The Lord's Taverners National Junior Championships saw almost 300 junior wheelchair basketball players fill the University of Worcester Arena from the 1st-2nd August for an incredible weekend of wheelchair basketball.
Competing on the same courts that will welcome the continent's leading nations for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships later this month, which is the top teams will be selected to play at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016. The 23 regional junior teams shone as they played for the U15 and U19 national titles.
Reece was selected to represent the U19 team for the South East Region, he was excited to be selected for the tournament as he had only being playing wheelchair basket for 18months and he was a strong forward for the South East team, scoring a number of baskets over the 2 day tournament. The South East U19s team finished 4th in the tournament consisting of 12 teams, winning 4 out of their 5 pooled games, playing against Northern Ireland, East Midlands, South West and North East. Their only loss was to the North West who went on to win the U19 Gold Medal for the 4th year in a row. The U19 team won their quarter final against the East team, 25 v 18 East to progress to the semi-final where they lost against the west midlands who went on to win silver, final score 14 SE v 25 West Midlands. They met Yorkshire in the Bronze medal match who last year won silver with the final score 17 South East v 24 Yorkshire.
Kieran was selected for his last year as an under15 player having played at the tournament for a number of years representing the South East region. Liam was excited to have been selected for a second year in a row to represent the South East Region. The Under 15s team finished 9th out of 11 teams, the won one of their pooled matches to East Midlands, they lost to Yorkshire who went on to win Bronze, North East who won Gold, North West and London. They finished 6th in the pool A and went on to play for 9-11 place. The SE team won against the South West 26 v 11, and a close game against the East Midlands 14 V 17 to SE.
DJ Kings longest playing member and trained Young Official was officiating at the tournament alongside the game refs. DJ said "I really enjoyed playing at the championships in the past when I was young enough to take part, but it's great to come back as an official and still be involved".
Grant volunteered for the role of assistant coach with the under 15s team, Grant was pleased that out of all the coaches in the South East Region, spanning from Buckinghamshire to Hampshire to Kent he was selected to be part of the Championships. Grant explained "that being able to coach on the courts that in a few weeks' time will be used for the Europeans and knowing that some of those teams will compete at the Paralympics in Rio is a great feeling".
Peter R volunteered for the role of assistant coach with the u19s team, he reported "it's great coaching with other coaches that you don't get to work alongside often. I learnt a lot about my style of coaching and how other coaches work. It's great to be able to coach at a tournament that I have also taken part in, even if that was a number of years ago now!"
Jacqueline volunteered as a table official for the U15 and U19 teams, and explained that "it's great to be a part of the championships and to be at such a prestigious event that every junior player looks forward to being selected to play at representing their region. I enjoy being an official at this event rather than coaching and I feel it adds more depth to my club coaching".