Exeter Eagles Basketball Club, Jack Moncur and Lewie Parker – July 2014
The Express & Echo and Exeter City Council Sports Foundation has handed out another £1,600 to one club and two individuals.
The foundation was set up last year and the latest grants come from money raised at the Express & Echo Sports Awards and funding from the council.
Exeter Eagles Basketball Club were awarded £1,000, up-and-coming javelin thrower Jack Moncur received £320 and teenage tennis player Lewie Parker was awarded £280.
The Eagles were formed about 15 years ago and mainly train at The Maynard School and Exeter College.
Teams from the club have won national titles, 26 of their members have played for England and five are currently playing basketball in colleges in America
Senior coach Desmond Kumar said they money has already come in very handy.
“The plan is to use the money to pay for coach training, so we can develop new coaches, and we’ve already put someone on a level two coaching award as a result,” he said.
“The rest we will use for hall hire costs and balls or other equipment.”
Exeter Eagles welcome children from age nine and Kumar said they were delighted to receive the grant as the youngsters have to travel far and wide to play matches.
“We’re the only junior club in the city for basketball and we’re taking children in from year five upwards,” he said. “We’re also the biggest development club for girls in the South West of England.
“There are a huge amount of kids who want to play it but sadly we’ve had a decline in basketball in Exeter. There used to be an under-14 and under-16 boys’ league in Exeter, which was fantastic, but isn’t going any longer.
“Our boys play in the South West region, which goes all the way to Cardiff, and the girls play up to Nottingham, Northamptonshire and London.
“It’s a huge commitment and the grant from the foundation is the only money we’ve ever been given by anybody. All our coaches are volunteers and we try to make ends meet to make it happen because it’s very important to get children to play sport, especially girls.”
Moncur, 15, threw a PB of 50.73m as he finished second in the boys’ under-17 age group at the Devon Championships last month.
The St Luke’s Science & Sports College pupil has put the money he received towards his strength and conditioning coaching.
Last year he won the under-16 boys’ javelin title at the Scottish National Age Group Championships but moved up an age group this year, which meant using a heavier javelin.
Exeter Harriers athlete Moncur said: “The money is paying for my strength and conditioning work with Active Fitness.
“I’m finding it very beneficial and without that I wouldn’t be throwing the distances I am.
“This season isn’t going particularly well but I’ve grown since last year and it’s quite hard to get the final position right without the track.
“I’ve hit one 50 and I’ve been close a few other times, so I’m consistent, so I’m not just getting one out there and not getting near it again.”
Parker, 18, recently took his final exams at Exeter College and plays and coaches at Exeter Tennis Centre.
And he hopes to climb up the British rankings, having already spent his grant money.
“I bought three new rackets because I’d had the last ones for about four years and they’d had their usage,” he said of the cash he received.
“I’m starting to compete a lot more now that my exams have finished. I’ve been playing a lot at Exeter University and I will hopefully be travelling a lot over the summer to tournaments.
“Next year I am tennis coaching at Exeter University for a year and I hope to play a lot more then as well.
“The more coaching I do, the more it makes me think about my tennis as well and I can concentrate on what I’m doing.
“I want to do more British tour events next year and improve my British ranking.”