Broch basketball club goes from strength to strength

Coach Leo Harper with Storm members during a training session.
Coach Leo Harper with Storm members during a training session.

The Broch’s leading youth basketball club, Fraserburgh Storm, is going from strength to strength, according to its coach, Leo Harper.

The Herald caught up with Leo, who is also chairperson of Fraserburgh Storm, recently to discuss the club’s recent achievements as well as their plans for the future.

Leo was a student at Banff and Buchan College when he was first approached by a Basketball Development Officer and hand-picked to set up a basketball club in Fraserburgh.

The club, which started out with just five kids, has now grown to a membership of nearly 100.

Fraserburgh Storm has also become heavily involved with Active Schools, with Storm coaches visiting primary schools in the Fraserburgh network every week.

Many young people at primary school level then join Storm once they move up to Fraserburgh Academy.

Like Leo, who is currently supported by fellow coaches Kerri and Ricardo, many start their basketball coaching as students at college.

Leo is now a Sports VTA with North East Scotland College in both their Aberdeen and Fraserburgh campuses. Once they are trained by Leo through the college system, the new coaches can take up paid positions in the Active Schools network.

Leo spoke to the Fraserburgh Herald earlier this week and told us about the club’s recent success.

The club takes part in the Regional Development League, putting forward a number of under 10s, under 12s and under 14s. Storm has been undefeated at the under 10 level and the girls’ under 12 level for the past two years. The club also won the Regional Super Cup.

Many of the club’s top performers have gone on to join the Future Starz programme.

Leo also told the Herald of the success of a number of South Park School pupils, who made it into the National Development Squads - with one pupil making it into the Under-12 Scotland Squad.

A number of Storm members also travelled to Andorra recently to take part in a small international league.

And Leo has enjoyed success himself, having been awarded the Grampian Youth Coach of the Year award by Basketball Grampian.

At present, there are a range of age-specific training sessions from Tuesdays to Fridays in Fraserburgh, which are attended by anywhere between 15 and 35 young people (see box).

Commenting, Leo said: “We want to be playing in the national leagues against the top teams in Scotland, both male and female.

“I’m actually on a two-year scholarship programme to become a national coach.

“I think the potential of the club is huge. We’re being recognised not just at the local level but also at the national level.

“I’d like to thank Active Schools, Will Clarke and all the coaches for their hard work and commitment.

“I’d also like to thank the parents and of course the children for their hard work.”

If anyone is interested in joining Storm or becoming a coach, contact Leo by email at leo_harper@yahoo.co.uk