Exmouth's basketball club goes from strength to strength.

PUBLISHED: 16:05 01 June 2011

Play scheme to restart

Play scheme to restart

Archant

Chris Davy, a former founding member of the Exmouth Bridge Building basketball Club, explains just why he is so proud of how far the club has come in the past two years.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away Exmouth Jesters Basketball Club was formed, writes Chris Davy.

The past two years have quite simply been out of this world. The journey started in Spring 2009 when we decided to try and gather people in the Exmouth area that were interested in playing basketball.

It was recognised that, if things were going to be successful, they needed to be taken seriously. The name ‘Bridge Building Basketball Exmouth’ was coined, along with the designing of a logo. It’s very much a case of many thanks to Ryan Ousley of Savage Rose Tattoo Studio, Exmouth (01395) 267677, for providing us with that splendid logo. We then booked out Exmouth Sports Centre, Sports Hall for a taster session and advertised the event in the local paper. Whilst we were some what apprehensive about the potential low numbers, we were pleasantly surprised when a healthy amount of people showed up. It was at that moment that we knew we had something special. From that point on a regular session was booked at Exmouth Community College, whom we would also like to thank for accommodating us over the past two years. The decision was made for us to train for a year before entering in to competition, allowing us to refine our skills and develop a better understanding of the game along with, giving us all the opportunity to get to know each other better. In that time we also set upon finalising an identity that would define us. Several ideas came to the table. The local community and Exmouth Community College students themselves were also asked to produce designs. The final three that were to be chosen from were Exmouth Tide, Avocets and Jesters. After the votes came in, Jesters was the name that won the majority vote. We also adopted the motto ‘Shine, Define, Refine.’. Thank you to Simon Bradshaw for providing us with the professionally finished product that we use today. We have certainly lived up to our name and this motto. By our very nature we will continue to do so. Along with the gaining of funding from the likes of O2, Exmouth Town Council and the sponsorship of Yaskin Sports Ltd (the official Errea distributor for the South West England) we have become more realistically set to establish ourselves for the long term future we‘ve wanted from the start. Once again thank you to all of those who have given generously to help support the development of our club. There are many things that go in to running a club of any description. We would like to take this opportunity to commend all the efforts made by those of you involved in local clubs in any respect. It is with this effort that we all end up achieving really fantastic things. That is what has been required of all those involved at Exmouth Jesters Basketball Club over this time; a lot of effort. But we can tell you all that it has all been totally worth it. We are immensely proud of what we have formed and achieved. Basketball has not been represented in Exmouth for some decades now and now we have put it back on the map. Exmouth Jesters currently play in the Exeter and District Basketball League (www.exeterdistrictbasketball.org). The league consisted of two Divisions of 7 teams in the 2010/11 season. Each team played 3 games against the other teams in their respective division. There is also a cup competition with an initial group stage. This meant that every team would play a minimum of 20 games over the space of the season. Whilst the 2010/11 season for the Jesters was not a success in one respect (the Jesters finished bottom of the Exeter and District Basketball Association). There are umpteen things that the Jesters can state as successes in their first season. It took seven games before Exmouth gained their first win of the season. The team finished the season with a total of 4 wins and 16 losses. However, the main positive that can be taken from this maiden season was that there was a period at the end of the season when the Jesters won 3 out of 5 games. It really is a testament to the hard work that has been put in on and off the court. At any moment those involved could have given up, the team and club could have folded due to a lack of commitment and determination. But it didn’t. Since our formation we have continually supported the development of our players to levels of county status and wish those that are moving on the best in their new clubs. We have supported the development of players in to coaches and will continue to do all of this things as the Jesters look to continue flourishing and become the number one local league basketball club in the region. The Exmouth Community College basketball programme is something that has also made tremendous progress in the past 2 years and is another special aspect of local basketball the Jesters have been proud to be a part of. The most notable achievement this past year has been the success of the Under 16s team that became 2010/11 South West Champions whilst competing in National Schools Competition. The team progressed to the Quarter-Finals eventually being knocked out by this years ‘to be’ National Champions, Dorothy Stringer School of Brighton. The ECC Under-16s team can also take great pride in being recognised as ‘Team of the Year’ at this years Exmouth Community College Sports Awards. We, at Exmouth Jesters, are very much looking forward to participating in the 2011/12 season with a more rounded approach and understanding of what is required. We hope that the local community will support us in our effort to improve on this year’s achievement. One of our main focuses aside from achieving a better league position is encouraging the development of youth basketball even more in the area. We hope to be providing regular Primary School and after school sessions by the end of 2012. Another thing The we would like to mention is JESTER JAM. This is an event that has been created to raise the profile of the Exmouth Jesters Basketball Club and local creative talent. The event enjoyed its first hosting this February at Exmouth Pavilion. A host of local talent performed to the enthused crowd including the likes of Sam Green, Ryan Ousley and The True Blue, Shotgun Train, The Parade (Now known as ‘The Summertides’), The Beacons and Mix Masta Mullet. Special thanks also goes to the Jester Jam Stewards, Exmouth Pavilion Staff, Stage Engage and Shadow Security for ensuring a smooth and safe running of the event. Jester Jam is set to return to the Pavilion again in 2012, so if you would like to be involved in the event in anyway please get in touch. Likewise, if you are at all interested in getting involved in the Bridge Building Basketball Exmouth and Exmouth Jesters basketball programmes please visit www.jestzoo.com or contact Christopher Davy via chris.davy@hotmail.co.uk, (01395 273993) or 07817592741. Finally, LED Leisure has had a proposal accepted by Exmouth Town Council that will allow them to be considered for part of the £150,000 that is available for developing Outdoor Sports in Exmouth. We would ask all basketball supporting folk to take the time to vote for this project which includes the development of 3 tennis courts in Phear Park to competition standard and the construction of a Multi-Sports Court for netball, football and, of course, basketball. Voting for Exmouth Outdoor Sports Funding can be made on June 4, at the Kite Festival here in the town (2pm to 5pm). Visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk for details on the Exmouth Sports Fund!

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