Media: Bushnell 'buzzing for more academy work'
This month Dave Bushnell, Hull Wasps' chairman, featured in an exclusive interview with the University of Hull's student newspaper. Here is a copy of their report...
by Samuel Stevens
Hull Wasps chairman buzzing for more academy work
Hull Wasps' chairman, Dave Bushnell, has said that despite operating in one of the poorer cities in a country plagued by financial austerity his club will not let monetary issues prevent them from casting their youth development net far and wide.
Having emerged from the shadows of Hull Stingrays in 2008 the club set upon the task of targeting ten-to-sixteen year olds to participate in training sessions, ran by premier coaches including the first team head coach Matt Fawcett, at Bransholme. Now with schemes for over sixteen year olds and running on Monday evenings the scheme, headed by both Hull Wasps and Humber Sports Partnership, can now boast of welcoming hundreds of young aspiring basketball players through the gates.
“Basketball isn’t as developed in this region as well as other sports like football and rugby so we have to invest as much as we can to develop our youth programme” Bushnell told The Hullfire from the club’s home at the Ennerdale Centre. “We’ve worked very hard over the past five years to achieve ClubMark which was a big milestone for us because you can’t get that without developing a junior programme but for us it’s more than just the mark.”
“To really develop and establish basketball as one of the major sports in this region”, continues the twenty nine year old chairman, “you have to really develop a solid youth academy.” Although that pledge seems to many to be a mere pipe dream rather than reality as Bushnell, forced into sacrificing his own funds and time to keep the Wasps flying, aimed for the club to punch above their weight in yet another field.
“Economically it is very tough right now but we’ve managed to set up a very efficient academy which keeps costs to a minimum and their makes it affordable for the families involved.” While attracting families of all classes remains vital to both the club’s future and its philosophy, so too is the need to find talent of the future with Bushnell hoping to unearth more Humberside talent to supplement a side already fundamentally built on local foundations.
“As financially difficult as it is to run the club, it’s definitely worth keeping emphasis on youth development” he says, suggesting that financial outlay today could equal a healthy profit in the long term. Having finished fourth, just four points behind the Vans.co.uk Division Four Champions Stockport Spartans, the Wasps now find themselves in a position to challenge for honours once more and Bushnell is optimistic that Matt Fawcett’s side will be able to benefit from more young Humberside talent in years to come.
“We’re very confident that with the coaches we have involved in the academy that we will produce some excellent players ready for national league and make Hull proud of the team for years to come.”