ITV News meet GB Maxiballers ahead of World Championships in Argentina

8 July 2023
Posted in News
8 July 2023 Sadie Mason

Last week Brighton’s ITV Meridian News reporter, Charlotte Wilkins, caught up with some of the Sussex-based members of the Great Britain Over 40 and Over 50 Women’s team members, who are just now only 7 weeks away from flying out to Argentina for the World Maxibasketball Championship from 26 August to 3 July 2023.

In a training session hosted by Sport Brighton, at the University of Brighton sport centre in Falmer, GB Over 40 Assistant Coach David Mason, and GB players Christie Petrucha-Rourke (Worthing), Emma Parslow (Eastbourne), Katie Baverstock (Portslade) and Sadie Mason (Seaford) met up with Charlotte to shoot some hoops and chat about women’s sport, inclusion, and of course the excitement of representing Great Britain in Argentina for the 10-day international masters basketball event.

Charlotte was keen to find out about the history of maxibasketball, a movement which began just over 30 years in Argentina (1991) when the first World Championship was held; how and why Great Britain first entered the world maxibasketball stage in 2019, and what it means to older players to have a recognised programme offering a pathway to represent their country at a high level against their peers.

GB Over 50s player, Sadie Mason, explained:

“In 2019, an opportunity arose for Great Britain to send teams to the World Masters Championship in Espoo, nr Helsinki.  Along with Emma (Parslow), we decided to encourage as many female ex-basketball players to get together from across the UK to represent Great Britain. Not only is it good for the soul it’s great because you can play against people of your age who are still playing competitively and it’s great for female players who often give up because of family. “

In June 2019, two women’s teams competed in the Over 40 and Over 50 competition categories, with GB Women’s 50+ team winning a Championship medal at the first time of asking.  It was Great Britain’s first ever maxibasketball championship medal and the beginning of the GB Maxibasketball national programme.

In 2020/2021 the programme was expanded to include male players, many of whom shared that the existence of the programme saved their mental health during the darkest times of the pandemic – not a vulnerability that many men choose to share.

Sadie went on to say:

“It was humbling to know that we are contributing to individual well-being, whilst at the same time providing a performance platform for our older basketball community.”

Check out the full interview with the Sussex players here on the ITV website, which includes the sports bulletin that was broadcast live on their news channel on Friday 30 June.

#gbmaxibasketbll #roadtoargentina2023



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