A PAIR of basketball players from Bury St Edmunds have been recognised for their success both on and off the court in the past month.
Amy Linton, of Bury St Edmunds, was announced as England Basketball’s Young Volunteer of the Year earlier this month, while King Edward Upper student Mark James represented the East of England Under-15s at a regional development tournament in Nottingham a fortnight ago.
Amy, who plays in the National League with Ipswich Basketball Club, was crowned Young Volunteer of the Year at the seventh Annual Volunteer Awards Function at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham on September 15.
The 18-year-old, who was nominated for the award by Copleston High School, continues to have a big involvement volunteering in basketball through coaching, refereeing and officiating.
During the summer of last year the former East of England player attended every training session of the East Under-13s girls 40 hour programme as an assistant, demonstrating skills, refereeing friendly games and setting up equipment.
Amy, a level two-qualified coach and level one qualified as a referee, table official and wheelchair basketball coach, also coached the Suffolk Under-13s girls to a runners-up spot at a recent inter-county tournament.
Meanwhile, Mark James was chosen to represent the East of England Under-15s at a tournament in Nottingham, his side winning two of their five games with victories over the East Midlands and the North East.
Fourteen-year-old Mark is also a No Limits Academy mentor, leading and supporting younger students who show high levels of ability and commitment in a variety of sports.
Mark’s mother Kathryn, who is also sports development officer for Suffolk Sport, said: “He was a year younger this year and it was just about going along and enjoying the experience.
“At that age there are some big lads but he very much enjoyed it. He went at 13 so it wasn’t a totally new experience for him.
“If he keeps up his studies then his goal is to use the basketball to further his academic success.
“There are some good opportunities to gain academic scholarships and I think that is where his heart lies- to use the basketball to get a degree in Europe or America.”