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25 April 2012 | PR 12/76

Riders return to Loughborough for basketball play offs

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Top flight basketball returns to Loughborough University this weekend, when the Leicester Riders take on the Sheffield Sharks in the British Basketball League (BBL) play offs.

The Riders have had a tremendous season, winning a record breaking 22 league games and finishing second in the BBL table, just two points behind champions Newcastle Eagles.

In order to progress in the play offs the Riders face a two-game showdown with Sheffield Sharks in the first round, which get underway on Friday 27th April at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The return game will take place at Loughborough University on Sunday 29th April at 4:00pm.

Russell Levenston, General Manager of the Leicester Riders, said:

“After the club’s greatest finish in the BBL it has been a great season so far and it begins again this weekend with the quarter final of the playoffs against Sheffield. Sunday looks like it is going to be a sell out and a great event thanks to local Leicestershire businesses, we will be handing out free limited edition playoff T-shirts to all the fans.

“Finally I would like to thank both Loughborough University and College for all their support with the event, it will be great to be back where the Riders started as the Loughborough Allstars in 1967.”

Leicester Riders have recently developed a thriving partnership with Loughborough University and Loughborough College to develop the ‘Loughborough Basketball Programme’.

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The programme, set up in September 2011, offers young people from the UK and overseas the opportunity to continue studying in higher and further education as well as developing as a basketball player and athlete.

So far the partnership has been a great success on and off the court.  The Loughborough Student Riders Women's team won the National Division 2 Championship, with Matthew Harber and Maaja Bratka named as coach and player of the season.

The men’s team have also made steady progression, finishing in second place in Division 3 North with a record of 18-4.

Jo Emmett, Performance Sport Strategic Manager at Loughborough University, said:

"We have made some fantastic progress in only year one of this programme and I am looking forward to seeing the strength and depth of basketball at Loughborough grow over the next few years.  We are delighted to welcome the Riders back to campus on Sunday and hope to see them here again on Sunday 6th May in the semi final!”

Tickets prices for the match are Adults £11 Children £7. They are available from the website www.leicesterriders.co.uk or by calling the ticket hotline on 0116 2558635.

If tickets are still available they will be on sale from 3pm on the day.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching and strong links with industry.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

Loughborough has been selected by the British Olympic Association as the Official Preparation Camp Headquarters for Team GB prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The University has also signed a partnership with the Japanese Olympic Committee that will see both organisations working together until the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Follow the University’s London 2012 Olympics news on Twitter - @lborolondon2012

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This page was last updated on Wednesday April 25, 2012 14:25