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Lions reach out to the borough

PUBLISHED: 15:50 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:48 24 August 2010

Aiming high: The Lions go through the gears at a recent training session

Aiming high: The Lions go through the gears at a recent training session

LONDON'S up and coming deaf basketball team are settling into their new Brent home, and are on the hunt for new players as the season gets into full swing. The Deaf London Lions basketball club have been training at Preston Manor High School...

LONDON'S up and coming deaf basketball team are settling into their new Brent home, and are on the hunt for new players as the season gets into full swing.

The Deaf London Lions basketball club have been training at Preston Manor High School in Wembley for two months, and have been working feverishly alongside Brent Council to promote the sport among the borough's deaf community.

The club compete in the London Amateur League, also taking part in deaf tournaments around Europe, and club captain Ramas Rentelis now hopes they can bring the sport to the wider deaf community in the borough.

"Until now, basketball has not been too popular with deaf people, but I think that is changing now, and it's becoming similar to within the hearing community," said Rentelis.

"Some deaf schools are asking us to give a taste of basketball, and we are also part of the West proActivity project, which provides sessions for deaf youth groups.

"We want to build relationships and offer basketball skills to deaf primary schools, and offer a fun sport to boys and girls at a grassroots level.

"We also want to work closely with major hearing basketball organisations - the national governing bodies such as England basketball and Basketball Scotland, to try and raise awareness and support."

The club has been together for two years, with some of the players representing their countries at the recent Deaflympic Games in Taiwan in September.

They cater for deaf and hearing impaired men, women and junior players, and beginners are also encouraged to attend.

Ian Carpenter, Sports Development officer for disabled young people at Brent Council said: "It's really great that the Lions are now based in Brent, it gives the deaf community of the borough a fantastic opportunity to compete and play in an all-deaf sports team.


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