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University of Worcester Arena Plays Host to Spanish Basketball Hopefuls

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The University of Worcester Arena gained further international approval over the summer after hosting a group of young Spanish basketball hopefuls.

Last month’s English Language Basketball camp was delivered by the University of Worcester in partnership with the Worcester Wolves and the Basketball Federation of Castilla y Leon in Spain.

Thirty five students, all aged between 12 and 17, divided their time between the University of Worcester Arena, where they practiced basketball skills, and the St John’s campus, where they took classes to improve their English and gained accreditation from the British Council for English Language.

The trip also afforded the students the chance to try different sports, but with the emphasis on basketball, one of the highlights of their stay was a friendly game against Worcester Wolves’ junior academy teams at the University Arena.

Further activities included day trips to the West Midlands Safari Park and Warwick Castle.

As their stay in Worcester drew to a close, the Spanish coaches who accompanied the students and led the training sessions confirmed they would be keen to return to the University Arena and the city in the future.

Raquel Romo, Assistant Coach of Perfumerias Avenida, said: “It is not easy to find a practice venue as good as the University Arena, particularly when it is combined with the outstanding accommodation and facilities at the University of Worcester.”

“It is the best place that I have visited in my four years of basketball summer camps.”

Javier Portela, Assistant Coach of Leganes, added: “The three-court capacity of the University Arena allowed a large group such as ours to practice at the same time – it is one of the best places to practice basketball in the UK.”

Paul James, University of Worcester and Worcester Wolves Director of Basketball, said: “This was the first time we have run the Spanish English language basketball camp and it proved to be a great success.

“The University Arena is a fantastic and ideal place to hold such an event. We hope to develop this programme further and grow it significantly from the thirty-five Spanish children who attended this year”.

Mick Donovan, Head of the Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, said: “The basketball and languages specialists from the University gave the youngsters a great experience.

“The camp emphasised another aspect of our ‘Learning Through Sport’ programme that we can build upon in the future.”