The UnitedKingdom and basketball...somehow these two just don’t seem to connect in theminds of most people. This is probably the case with any other country who isnot so big in basketball, not to mention women’s basketball, and even more,amateur women’s basketball.
Regent Street, 伦敦 (伦敦市中心的其中一个主要大街) Regent Street, London
Before we go ontalking about basketball in the UK, let us learn the basics about the UnitedKingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland comprises offour countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In this articlewe will be focusing on talking about women’s basketball in England, asbasketball in each of these countries are governed separately by its ownnational governing body for the sport.
Brixton Topcats, WBBL (英格兰最高级别女篮的其中一支队伍) Brixton Topcats, a WBBL team.
Based on theinformation on the England Basketball’s website, we know that the highest levelof women’s basketball in the United Kingdom, the WBBL (Women’s BritishBasketball League, the equivalent of WCBA in China), made up of ten teams, wasjust formed last year in 2014, having its first ever season now (2014-2015).
An outdoor basketball court on a rainyday...London, an outdoor court?! :P
With tendifferent national leagues and age groups (teams from U14 up to senior women’slevel) of women’s basketball being organized in England (excluding amateurwomen’s basketball), we can see a structure in place. Looking at theeducational side, we also see that basketball is being played in the universitylevel as well. BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sports), which providesopportunities for students to participate in 52 different sports, (theequivalent to CUBA/WCUBA in China - only for basketball), offers a platform forfemale student athletes to play basketball as part of university life.
Vee and her Loughborough University basketballteam mates in 2008.
As aLoughborough University’s graduate herself, Vee experienced a year as a playerin the university’s basketball team participating in BUCS’ league games. Herteam has hosted other teams and traveled to other cities to play. We can seethis in China as well, so it’s not something new. But what about the amateurwomen’s basketball players in this country?
Photo of two amateur women’s basketball teamsafter a game in London, February, 2015.
为了更深入了解关于英格兰的业余女子篮球情况，主要是伦敦的情况；我们联系了总部位于伦敦的一家专门提供这样的平台的公司，LBA（LoveBasketball Academy）。这是一家专门为女子篮球爱好者提供打球平台的公司。这家公司的创始人Jose Martin来自西班牙。他希望他的两个女儿未来能在WNBA打球，但由于找不到合适的平台，他决定创办这样一家公司。自从该公司在2014年初成立至今，Jose已召集了六支不同级别的球队并且组织了一些联赛和带领了他的球队参加伦敦市的一些联赛。
To learn moreabout the amateur women’s basketball scene in England, specifically in London,we contacted a London-based women’s basketball academy, LBA (Love BasketballAcademy), which provides opportunities for women to play basketball at thegrassroots level for leisure (with some level of competition). The founder ofthis company, Jose Martin, is originally from Spain. He wanted his daughters toplay in WNBA one day and decided to start something since he realized there wasno such platform in London. Ever since the academy was established in 2014,Jose has organized six teams of various levels for female ballers in the city.He has organized games for these teams and led his teams to participate in theleague games organized by the city.
A short video showing training of the amateurwomen’s basketball team in London, February 2015.
Vee觉得她只在伦敦一个月可以在这段时间里有篮球打感到非常幸运。这让她想说未来一定要在MELODY提供一个平台给短期在上海生活的女子篮球爱好者打球。在这期间她参与了球队的训练和比赛。很高兴看到这么多女性在参与这项运动。我们发现在伦敦打球的女子篮球爱好者们和在巴黎一起打球的小伙伴有一个比较明显的现象。在伦敦的爱好者来自世界各地 - 在球队里的15-16个人中有来自至少10个国家的爱好者，球队非常国际化。当然，我们的共同点是，我们都很热爱篮球。
Vee was lucky tohave experienced playing with one of the teams during her one month stay inLondon. This made her think about creating a platform for female ballers whoare only in Shanghai for a short period of time. During this time she took partin the training sessions and games. It was a pleasure to see so many femaleballers to play this sport. One major difference we found from playing inLondon compared Paris is the team in London is very international andmulticultural. We could see over ten nationalities in a team of 15-16 playerscoming from countries across Europe and other parts of the world. But of coursewe all share the same passion, basketball.
Vee with her team mates in London, February,2015.
Although for anumber of the players, basketball is not a sport they have played for a longtime, we could see that they are rather fit and quite sporty if we compare tothe female ballers who have just started playing basketball in China. It islikely because they have been doing other sports for a long time, and it wasmuch easier for them to try playing basketball. So if you are a beginner inbasketball, congratulations! You have made the first step forward, which is themost difficult step!
在伦敦的一个室内篮球场。An indoor basketball court in London.
当我们去了解业余篮球爱好者在伦敦打球的成本时，可以总结说...如这座城市一样的生活费，成本非常高！我们了解到，一个室内篮球场一个小时全场费用在45磅到80磅（等于450元 - 800元）。但如果我们客观地去看，其实，我们在上海支付的场地费用离这个金额不远，甚至有些场地的价格就在这个价位内。:( 和我们的法国小伙伴比较起来我们付的场地的差距啊！
Looking at thecosts of playing basketball in London at the amateur level...we would like toconclude that; just like everything in this city, it is very expensive! Basedon what Vee found out, it costs between 45 to 80 pounds (450RMB - 800RMB) perhour full court to rent an indoor court. But if we really think about it, theprice we pay for courts in Shanghai is not far from this range. :( This is sucha big difference comparing to what our French friends are paying...
During the basketball coaching course, February2015.
During the stayin London, Vee also had the chance to take a few basketball courses to learn tocoach, referee and table officiate basketball. Learning about basketballthrough the different roles as a coach, referee, and table official teaches usmore about the various aspects of this team sport. We are able to seebasketball via the eyes of the different roles.
During the referee course, February 2015.
Standing in theperspectives of a coach, referee, table officiate, player and spectator canshow us that there is so much more about basketball that we still need to learnand experience. It was interesting to see female participants in the courses,although the majority is still male participants.
Basketball coaching manuals to study, February2015.
One key thing weneed to understand and learn about basketball is, the referee is the king onthe court. :) If you play basketball long enough, you’ll probably already knowthis. This is why basketball is such a great sport, you need to learn to manageyour frustrations and emotions despite being just called for a foul which youdid not do, and continue playing without being affected too much until the gameends.
Items used by a volunteer to table officiate agame in London, February 2015.
During thereferee course, the tutor has shared past experiences and said that if you showyour bad attitude to a referee; that referee will most likely remember yourjersey color and number, and hunt you down until the game ends...Oh gosh, it’snot something we hear all the time, but if we really think about it...It istrue! So, lesson for the day, NEVER mess with the referees!
Ms. Patricia Fairclough OBE, actively involved inbasketball for over forty years from grassroots to international levels of thegame (worked in all platforms of basketball from a local school team game up tomajor events including Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships, GoodwillGames, Caricom Championships and the Commonwealth Games).
Ms. PatriciaFairclough OBE, who in the eyes of England Basketball, is the Goddess in thebasketball world in England, Vee had the honor to be attending the tableofficials course conducted by her. Patricia has trained most of the tableofficials who table officiated in the 2012 London Olympics. She is a greatmentor and Vee has always remembered her since she took the level 1 basketballcourses with Patricia back in 2008. We are looking forward to share what wehave learnt and experienced with the amateur women’s basketball friends inChina.
A photo of a game between two women’s teams inIrish highest level of basketball.
在英国的其中一个周末，Vee去了一趟爱尔兰，并参观了首都都柏林。这正好是爱尔兰女篮最高级别联赛期间，所以她去看了一场DCU Mercy 对Meteors的比赛。比赛在一所学校进行。爱尔兰的女篮有非常大空间可以发展，而我们也希望MELODY有一天会来到这个国家篮球之旅。
On one of theweekends, Vee took a trip to a neighboring country, Ireland, and visited itscapital Dublin. It happened to be the season for the Premier Women’s league inIreland and she went to watch a game between two teams (DCU Mercy v Meteors).The game took place in a school and she felt that there is a great opportunityfor the Irish Women's Basketball to develop, and hopes MELODY could come toIreland as well one day.
Yay~ London baby!!!
嗯，我们希望这篇文章可以帮助改善大家对英国女子篮球的观点，因为参与在篮球的女篮爱好者越来越多了！ ;) 虽然在英国参与篮球的女篮爱好者可能少于法国或中国，我们相信她也是在往一个增多的速度前进的。（尤其2012年在伦敦奥运会后）
Well we hopethis article helps to change the way you think about women’s basketball in theUK, because there are more and more female ballers participating in thisawesome sport now! ;) Though the level of participation by female ballers inthe UK is not as high as France or China, we know that it is growing. (London2012 Olympics being one of influences).
Fish and Chips meal in Oxford Circus, London.
To end thearticle, we would to share that MELODY and friends now have at least nine teamswe can play with if we travel to London for our basketball tour in the future!:)