The Eagles are committed to working with the local community. In 2006 the Eagles launched the Eagles Community Foundation (ECF). The main aim of the organisation is to grow levels of sustainable basketball participation in Tyne and Wear and South East Northumberland, predominantly through the following programmes of activity:
- The Eagles Hoops 4 Health Primary Schools programme
- The ECF Club Development Scheme
- The Eagles Central Venue Basketball League
- Eagles School of Excellence
- Eagles Tyne Met College Academy
- Eagles Gateshead College Academy
- Eagles Team Northumbria Elite Programmes
The Hoops 4 Health programme is an introductory scheme, involving Eagles and Team Northumbria players in a healthy living promotional programme with 120 primary schools across the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear every year. Year 5 and 6 participants in the scheme are encouraged to attend one of 30 satellite juniors clubs set up or supported by the scheme across Tyne and Wear and South East Northumberland
Once involved in a club environment the growing base of club players are part of a family of clubs driven by ECF officers and community coaches, of which there are currently 9 full time staff and 25 part time staff. The structure is set up to develop clubs and opportunities for volunteers to gain qualifications in coaching, refereeing and table officiating at their respective clubs.
Each club is expected to enter teams into the Eagles Central Venue League, operating at U12, U14, U16 and U18 age groups at central locations every Saturday across the playing season. The CVL has now been in operation for 12 years and is growing every year.
For those who aspire to reach the next level in the sport, Newcastle Eagles have launched a School of Excellence and are operating girls national league with an Under 18 team and boys national league with Under 15, Under 16 and Under 18 in the Basketball England national leagues.
From this point juniors who show development potential are encouraged to move into the Elite programmes linked to Team Northumbria at higher education level and Gateshead or TyneMet College Sports Academies at further education level.
Participation is however the key to all programmes and the growth in junior clubs over the past 10 years is showing to have an impact on regional senior participation, as a wave of players staying the game continue to play in the regional senior leagues.
The programme is also responsible for developing the provision in curriculum time at primary and secondary school level. At primary school level the Hoops 4 Health programme is a key driver in developing participation and exit routes into clubs for 10 and 11 year olds.
ECF also have a programme of half term and summer camps and clinics that run throughout the year. Camps are delivered by Eagles players and the community team.
If you want to get REALLY involved in the sport the opportunities are there – contact Deirdre Hayes at the ECF – [email protected] or phone 0191 2453881