Teams representing Manchester United, Manchester City, Newcastle, Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion battled it out at the Premier League 4 Sport National Basketball Tournament, but the Year 9 youngsters representing Manchester United emerged victorious ahead of rivals Manchester City who took second place.
The nine pupils have been taking part in Manchester United Foundation’s Premier League 4 Sport programme and were selected to represent the Club after a competition between local schools. Premier League 4 Sport uses the hook of Manchester United to encourage young people to take up four Olympic sports – basketball, badminton, table tennis and volleyball – ahead of the London 2012 Games this summer.
Urmston Grammar Under 14s boys’ team was made up by students Israel Shitta, Alex Taylor, Idreece Middleton, Alex Myall and Lewis Woodcock, who were undefeated in each game against Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle, as well as ensuring a nail-biting 7-5 victory over Tottenham.
Idreece, pictured wearing the number 12 shirt, commented, "We were all really excited travelling down to Birmingham to represent Manchester United. Winning was a great achievement and we were all thrilled. We will all remember this as a great experience."
The girls’ team from Chorlton High School included Izzy Hopwood, Rosa Hibbert and Claudine Nyananyo. They won 2-1 in their games, with victories over Newcastle and West Brom, however they completed the tournament in second place due to a narrow defeat against Manchester City.
Achieving first in the boys competition and second in the girls meant that Manchester United took the overall club winner’s trophy.
Justin Davies, Premier League 4 Sport Coordinator for the MU Foundation said: “It was nail biting stuff but I’m so happy that our team brought home the overall trophy. All of the young people taking part today have represented their clubs so well. We are very proud of them. The club’s success in the competition is testament to the outstanding work of the Greater Manchester Community Basketball Club, which has coached the teams over the last year and also supported them on the day.”