Writtle University College (WUC) is celebrating a successful, targeted 3x3 Schools Basketball Tournament. The tournament aimed to provide students the opportunity to experience university facilities and, at the same time, understand opportunities to progress into higher education.
Schools were encouraged to offer this opportunity to pupils from a range of diverse backgrounds, particularly those with lower representation in higher education.
The event was part of WUC's Access and Participation Plan, which works to widen participation and increase aspirations.
This, now annual event, followed a pilot tournament run in 2021. Ten secondary schools from Essex and the surrounding areas came together in May and June 2022.
The tournament was held at WUC's countryside campus, near Chelmsford, and offered 87 year ten pupils talks from student ambassadors about university life and access to recently launched 3x3 basketball facilities.
3x3 is basketball at its simplest and most accessible. Pupils took part in fast-paced, six-person games, played on half courts. All schools showed skill and enthusiasm.
The finals took place on Wednesday 8th June and featured six schools. All participants showed real interest in the game with Team A, from Ormiston Park Academy in Aveley, Thurrock eventually declared the overall winner.
Freestylers Laszlo Puskas and Andrew Wilding acted as coaches and entertained pupils with trick shots and basketball demos during the day.
The winning team's coach, Diana Naydenova-Goryanova, said: "Congratulations on such a successful event. The 3x3 tournament was very well organized, great facility and all players enjoyed it a lot. We are looking forward to next year!"
WUC's Widening Participation and Outreach Officer, Amy Furney, said: "It is fantastic to see the power of sports in not only raising the aspiration of students, but teaching lifelong skills in resilience, determination and comradeship.
"The event would not have been possible without the support and participation of the schools that attended. I would like to express my thanks to all schools that came to the event and we hope to see you again next year."
To learn more about Writtle University College's sports facilities, go to www.sport.writtle.ac.uk.