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New Era Beckons as University Takes Ownership of the Worcester Wolves

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The ownership of the Worcester Wolves Basketball Club will be changing hands after long-time sponsors the University of Worcester created a new subsidiary company, UW Worcester Wolves, which will take the club forward into a new era.

Former owner Roger Clarke, who will now take up a role as President of the Club, believes the new structure will provide the ideal ‘platform to launch the club into a new era of development’.

Mr Clarke explains: “Having privately owned the Worcester Wolves Basketball Club for fifteen years, and after our most successful ever season saw us win the British Basketball League (BBL) Trophy and BBL Play-Off final - along with the British University Championships - last year, I have made the decision to transfer the franchise to the University of Worcester.

“The partnership with the University has been very successful, and I feel that now is the right time for the University to take ownership of the Club.  

“The strength of the University, together with the University of Worcester Arena and the new club structure, will provide a platform to launch the Club into a new era of development.  I am excited to accept my new role as President and to closely continue my working partnership with Mick Donovan, the new Managing Director, to enable us to cement a more sustainable, stronger future for the Club.”

The new management structure of UW Worcester Wolves will also see Paul James continue his role as the Director of Basketball. Significantly, the board will include strategic senior staff and associates of the University.

Mick Donovan adds: “This is a really exciting time for the Club as we look to build upon the great work that we have done with Roger in the past. The new structure will clearly give the club the opportunity to grow in a strategic and sustainable way in the future.

“We now have an excellent programme, a fantastic venue and we want to continue to set the international standards for sport and education working together.”

The news has also been welcomed by the BBL, with Chairman Ed Percival saying: “The BBL is delighted with this development of the Worcester Wolves franchise, which we believe will assist in the development of the Club.

“The firm foundations being laid will provide the basis for sustainable future growth of basketball in the Worcester area.”

The Wolves have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with the University since the Club’s formation, and entry into Division 3 of the English Basketball League, in 2000.

Since then, the Club has enjoyed a rapid rise to success, with notable victories in the Patron’s Cup Final and the National Play off finals in 2004; the National Trophy Cup Final in 2006; and more recently, the capture of two of the four BBL trophies on offer during the historic 2013/14 season.

Meanwhile, the University has dominated the British Universities Men’s Championships (BUCS) by claiming the title in eight of the past ten years.

The University has been invited to promote its work and share good practice at leading universities all over the world, with recent presentations being delivered at the Beijing Sport University in China and Istanbul Sport University in Turkey.

The University of Worcester Arena currently hosts the GB Women’s Eurobasket qualifying games and is to be the training base for the GB men’s team. It is also the home for the GB men’s and women’s Wheelchair Basketball teams with several University staff and students providing sports science support.

The Wolves and the University have developed outstanding Learning Through Sport and community programmes that have engaged thousands of youngsters and included innovative disability sport initiatives that have gained national and international recognition and awards, whilst also attracting thousands of applications from all over the world from potential students who want to study, play or coach at the University of Worcester.

The Club has been working hard to assemble the 2014/15 BBL team and some familiar faces and new additions will be announced in the coming days.