Solefield wins National Basketball Tournament

Mr Henry, Basketball

22nd March 2024

Solefield School recently held the Under 11 and 13 IAPS National Basketball Finals at the Sennocke Centre at Sevenoaks School. There were 13 teams from around Southern England, such as Yately Manor, Lochinver, Royal Russell, St John’s Beaumont, Aldwickbury, Westminster to name just a few; even Millfield travelled some distance to attend. 

Event organiser, Carlos Henry from Solefield School and a Director at the Sevenoaks Suns Basketball Club brought the tournament to Sevenoaks 4 years ago. He has spent years trying to promote the game in the Sevenoaks Area, so it was a delight when Solefield won the Under 11 National Title defeating Edge Grove in the final. In the semi final a hard-fought battle against St John’s Beaumont ended with a penalty shootout, with a Solefield player scoring the tie breaker to put Solefield into the final. It was an absolute crowd pleaser and Solefield coach Mr Jankowski was jumping for joy!

In the Under 13 category, Yately Manor scored a mirror image penalty shot to beat Westminster in the semi-final, but could not handle the pace and strength of Lochinver who returned as U13 champions. 

Director of Sport, James Cramp, was in full support organising the Solefield Staff to help out in various roles on the day and Head Mrs Helen McClure awarded the medals to the 10 triumphant Solefield players. Mr Henry praised the efforts of the staff and parent support team, “Everyone mucks in at Solefield and gives up their time to help out. This is how a small school like Solefield is able to run and even win an event like this against schools of a high calibre that are twice or three times their size.” 

It was such an exciting and well-run event and provided an insight into the brilliant action and entertainment that basketball can produce. Mr Henry is looking ahead to next year’s event, which will be held at Sevenoaks School in March 2025.

Carlo Henry said, “There are now hundreds of children playing basketball at local clubs such as the Sevenoaks Suns and the popularity is increasing every year. If schools need support to set up a training plan and understand how to register for next year’s tournament, we would be more than happy to help. The schools in this area are part of a community and we want to continue to grow strong networks."