On Sunday 4th December a group of 30 pupils and members staff travelled to the new National Basketball Performance Centre (NBPC) in Manchester to watch the Manchester Mystics as they continued their campaign to take the WBBL league title.
Yet, as much as the group enjoyed watching the exciting fast-paced sport of basketball, it was one player in particular who they had come to support – Miss Clayden, a popular member of the school’s PE department.
In her nominated position of ‘guard’, which is typically given to the team’s most competent ball handlers and passers, Miss Clayden thrilled her pupils and colleagues as she led the Manchester Mystics in a number of assists and steals, and helped them secure a comfortable 74-59 victory over the Leicester Riders.
Now, firmly committed to the continued success of the dynamic Manchester team, Miss Clayden trains three times a week at the impressive NBPC Centre. She also coaches the Yorkshire’s under 15’s team and England’s under 17’s.
Clearly, an experienced and talented player, Miss Clayden is keen to bring her love of the game to Bradford Girls and to inspire pupils, particularly the younger girls, to try basketball and be more actively involved in sport as a whole.
‘I started to play basketball, along with my sister, when I was eight years old because both our parents played, and I absolutely loved the game’, said Miss Clayden.
‘But it has long been seen as a male sport and I would like to think that the girls that come to watch a game, and those that try it in school, will quickly realise what an exciting sport it is and hopefully want to get more involved’.
With an impressive career in the sport – from her initial start playing for Stockport’s under 15’s, to playing in America for her university team and recently representing England, Miss Clayden is considered a valuable asset to the school and a real role model for young girls.
She is currently involved in a new project “Better for Basketball” with Sky Sports Living for Sport which will be launched across the whole school in January. This initiative, backed by the Youth Sport Trust, is designed to help young people develop valuable life skills as well as improving physical fitness and social skills.
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