Christmas has come a few days early as we are delighted to announce the staff that will lead our five GB Maxibasketball teams into the World Maxibasketball Championship 2023 in Argentina! We are also pleased to confirm the coaches appointed to deliver our parallel European-based programme for five additional GB Maxis age group squads in 2023, as ongoing preparation for the European Maxibasketball Championship 2024 in Italy.
The majority of our coaches returned to the programme after this summers’ European Championship in Malaga, and attended a series of open training camps between August and November. A high percentage of those coaches committed to seeking an appointment for the World Championships 2023 – either as head or assistant coaches – with many seeing this as an opportunity to develop their coaching styles, to explore working with different age groups and with other coaches across the men’s and women’s programme. GB Maxis participation in the 6th MAMBAsket International Maxibasketball Tournament in Spain in December provided a great opportunity to test players and coaches ahead of these appointments.
New coaching combinations for Argentina will see our GB Mens 40+ head coach Jesse Sazant team up with our most recent addition to the GB Maxis coaching unit Mark Poynton. Women’s programme lead CJ Lee changes age groups to lead the GB Women’s 35+ team assisted by inspirational women’s coach Caroline Charles, who was recently recognised by Basketball England for her long service and dedication to basketball, and also assistant coach DAVID MASON, who brings his experience of winning back-to-back championship medals to the coaching unit.
Coach Stephen Barnes moves up to coach the GB Men’s 50+ team, and coach Mike Martin’s impressive coaching performance in Murcia has been rewarded with an appointment as GB Men 55+ lead coach, assisted by player coach Steve Bucknall. Meanwhile coach Richard Parker moves across to the Women’s programme, and is appointed as head coach for the GB Women’s 45+ for Argentina, assisted by Anita Curtis and Jimmy Smith.
Looking ahead to 2023, GB Maxis Women’s programme lead, Coach CJ Lee, said:
“Preparation for next year’s international campaign marks another important milestone in our programme’s evolution. The appointment of our coaching team for both World Championships and European competition represents the culmination of a rigorous and open process, working with a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers. Our staff continue to demand the very best of themselves and from our players on the international stage. Everyone involved recognises the challenge ahead and will continue to build on a wealth of talent and experience. I remain proud to wear the badge and I am really excited by the opportunity that me, and my fellow coaches, have been afforded as part of the GB Maxibasketball programme.”
Our coaching appointments to the European programme will see the return of GB Men’s 35+ Euro championship silver medal-winning coach Liam Jefferson. Anita Curtis is appointed as Head Coach to our GB Women’s 40+ team in Europe, assisted by Brian Deacon (who moves across from the men’s programme), and we also welcome coach Lee Clark as a new Associate Coach to the women’s programme. Meanwhile, Riccardo Raggi will lead the GB Men’s 45 & GB Mens’ 55+ programmes, supported by Mark Poynton, and Coach David Mason will step up to lead the GB Women’s 50+ programme teaming up with Jimmy Smith. The European programme is expected to include the Santander Masters (Cantabria, Spain) in June 2023, amongst other options.
GB Maxis Men’s programme lead, Jesse Sazant said:
“I am incredibly proud of the group of coaches we have in the programme. Their commitment is first class and they all bring so much to GB Maxibasketball. As we enter into the final selection phase, I am very excited to see the coaches on the floor with their squads, as we work towards our goal of medaling in Argentina and beyond that to build on good foundations ahead of the European Championship 2024 in Italy”.
Congratulations to all the coaches on their national team appointments; we will announce our support team (team managers and sports science staff) for the World Championship and European programme in January 2023. In the meantime, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at the GB Maxibasketball national teams programme.
World Championship GB Coaching Appointments:
Men 40+: Jesse Sazant (HC); Mark Poynton (AC)
Men 50+: Stephen Barnes (HC)
Men 55+: Mike Martin (HC), Steve Bucknall (AC)
Women 35+: C J Lee (HC); Caroline Charles (AC); David Mason (AC)
Women 45+: Richard Parker (HC); Anita Curtis (AC); Jimmy Smith (AC)
European programme coaching appointments
Men 35+: Liam Jefferson, Head Coach
Men 45+: Riccardo Raggi (HC), Mark Poynton (AC)
Men 55+: Riccardo Raggi (HC), Mark Poynton (AC)
Women 40+: Anita Curtis (HC), Brian Deacon (AC), Lee Clark (Associate Coach)
Women 50+: David Mason (HC), Jimmy Smith (AC)