Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - An academy is sending a team to play basketball in a Russian league

A talented team of pupils are set to mix studies with slam dunks next term as they tour Eastern Europe competing against some of the best players in the world.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 30 August

An academy is sending a team to play basketball in a Russian league


A talented team of pupils are set to mix studies with slam dunks next term as they tour Eastern Europe competing against some of the best players in the world.

The team from the Institute of Basketball Excellence at the Harefield Academy in Uxbridge, Middlesex, will be the only representatives from Western Europe to compete in a 32-team student league sponsored by an Russian banking giant.

Between October and February the pupils, aged 13 to 19, will play against opponents in venues including Moscow, Kiev and St Petersburg.

Coach Jack Majewski said it offered pupils a “tremendous educational opportunity.”

The Institute of Basketball Excellence was set up two years ago as a joint venture between Harefield Academy and London United basketball team. It has grown from seven male students in the first year to 50 male and female players last year.

It already fields teams in a number of competitive leagues in the UK. The under-18 team currently plays in the national England Basketball League men's division two, and is the only academy team to regularly compete against adult players.

“I would like to think we are one of the true sports academies. We look at sport as a vehicle to turn people¹s lives around,” said Pat Cottis, Harefield Academy¹s executive director. “Our job is to remove as many obstacles as possible so those young people can become athletes.”

For more on this story, see tomorrow’s TES magazine

Questions for discussion


For primary:

  • If our class could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
  • How would we convince the headteacher that it is worth the money to send us there?

For secondary:

  • How do you think that sport might be able to "turn people's lives around"?
  • What kind of opportunities might foreign travel offer to young people?



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