James Pooley, PE STAFF – Simon Balle School

“The link with Russell Hoops has had such a big impact on Basketball at Simon Balle School over the last 4/5 years. The number of students now participating and interested in the sport has risen and the quality of Basketball being played has gone to a new level.

The friendly, knowledgeable coaching has meant the students have received expert training and the numbers at the sessions is consistently high.

Simon Balle School are now very successful at District level Basketball and have now entered County and National Basketball competitions as a consequence of the link with Russell Hoops.

Without doubt Simon Balle students have benefited greatly and many are now playing Basketball outside of school.”


Owen Tizard, Player for West Herts Warriors

“Russell Hoops has made me a much better player and more confident by the coaches giving me lots of helpful tips and advice. I have liked playing with the older boys who act as great role models and inspire me to be as good as them.”


Amanda Tizard, Parent

“I have been extremely impressed by the professional organization of Russell Hoops. I have especially liked the way the coaches take great interest in all their players and give constructive advice in order for your child to make progress. They organize the best camps with a variety of top class coaches which has given my son really valuable experiences which will only improve his skills and attitude for the forth-coming season.


John McGrath – Middleton School

We have been using the services of Russell Hoops Basketball coaching since April 2014. We are an MLD school and our club is for children in our middle school (aged 7-9).”

“We have worked with two coaches, Liam and Derek, both of whom have had an instant rapport with the children. The children love coming to the club each week. Our current coach, Derek, has a really positive approach; he inspires the children to do their best and to work together. He constantly encourages and offers praise.

It has been great to see the improvement not only in relation to basketball skills but also transferable PE skills such as ball-handling, hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness. This is in addition to improving their confidence when trying new sports.

The staff who have supported Derek during the coaching sessions have nothing but praise for him. He is always on time (arriving quite early to set up and prepare) and as soon as the children start to arrive in the hall he starts to motivate them. He has built good relationships with the group of children he regularly works with but he also quickly integrates newcomers into the group.

When I have been in to observe these sessions, I have been impressed with the organization and level of participation. I would recommend Russell Hoops to any school wanting to introduce an exciting and worthwhile sports club.”


Chris Tofallis, Headteacher – Goffs Oak Primary and Nursery School

“Russell Hoops have been fantastic sports coaches at our school for a few years now. They specialize in Basketball across all the age groups. They have helped to develop basketball skills and understanding of the game, team spirit and promote exercise for our pupils. The coaches have delivered weekly lessons to all our primary classes and have supported our KS2 classes by entering them in local basketball competitions. Russell Hoops have also supported our school with resources and have really promoted basketball across all the age ranges.”


Simon Tilbury, Assistant Headteacher, Basketball Academy Director – St. Mary’s School

“St Mary’s and Russell Hoops formed a partnership in 2014, initially to deliver our Post 16 Elite Academy provision following the retirement of our Head Coach. The transition was seamless for the students and the season was a success for the team and for the players as individuals. Now into our second season, the sport has grown exponentially in the school through the hard work of our teaching staff and the significant expertise and support of Russell Hoops. We share a common ethos that is student/athlete centered around the strong core values of hard work on and off the court and a positive mental attitude. In the last 12 months we have sustained and grown our Academy, developed players of all abilities from beginners to National Standard, established club links and satellite clubs with England Basketball and grown our participation numbers including developing our girls programme. I very much look forward to seeing what the next year has in store.”


Steph Strachan, Parent

“In the 4 years my daughter has been playing basketball at Russell Hoops she has developed in both confidence and self-esteem. She has flourished in the safe and familiar setting that Russell Hoops provide and with the commitment of caring and professional staff.

The ethos of hard work and respect, not only for each other, but for themselves too, underpins the Russell Hoops development experience. The influence that the exceptionally dedicated and disciplined staff conveys to all the children should not be underestimated. I truly believe that if every child could attend Russell Hoops regardless of their ability, even if for a short time, their learning journey would be enriched in ways that will extend through every aspect of their lives.

I believe that Ben Russell especially, through his own passion and dedication for the sport, is a fantastic role model for all students. His devotion, enthusiasm and energy for seeing the best in all children, really believing in them and for helping each and every child to grow, is an achievement to be celebrated.”

Tara Haddock, Director of Sport – The John Warner School

“We have been working with Ben Russell to develop basketball at The John Warner School for over five years. There are three main strands to Ben’s work with us;

1. School Coaching

Ben coaches all of our boys’ basketball teams, we compete in the LVSSA district league with all age groups and Ben offers us high quality coaching which suits the needs of all our boys whatever their age or ability. During this time a member of the PE staff supports Ben which provides valuable teaching and coaching ideas which can then be carried into PE lessons.

2. Primary Liaison

Ben has developed a network of primary schools to whom he delivers basketball coaching, at regular times throughout the year we work with Ben to offer these schools some competitive basketball tournaments. This allows our students the chance to officiate and assist in the running of tournaments in a supportive environment. It also means that when the pupils transition from primary to secondary school their knowledge and skills of basketball are far higher than they have been in the past.

3. Lea Valley Basketball League

Ben runs all of the administration for the Lea Valley Basketball Leagues, he co-ordinates the fixtures and collates the results which provides the structure for competitive basketball for all secondary schools within the Lea Valley. Without his input competitive basketball in the area would be in serious jeopardy.

I have always found Ben to be very professional in whatever capacity he is working. His coaching is tailored to suit the needs of the students he works with and as a result they make great progress with him.”

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