A South Shields school basketball team has won a South Tyneside competition for the third year running. Pupils at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, were crowned South Tyneside Basketball Champions 2023 at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle.

This is the third consecutive year the primary school has claimed the title. The St Bede’s Y5 team won seven games in a row initially to qualify for the finals night in Newcastle, where the four best teams met in South Tyneside.

Team coach and Y3 teacher Brian McVittie said: “We beat an excellent Cleadon side in a tense semi-final. Our team showed its defensive qualities for long periods with Cleadon applying a lot of pressure; but the pupils still had the quality to create and convert the only basket of the game.

The District final was played in front of a huge crowd at half-time in the Eagles game against London Lions.

St Bede’s got off to a flying start in the final, as they scored two baskets in the opening minute. The St Bede’s players continued to play superbly and added a third basket to claim the title with an impressive 6-0 win.

Captain Alice Queenan, nine, said, “It was amazing playing at the Eagles home ground in Newcastle and a proud moment to lift the cup with my family watching on in the crowd.

Mr McVittie added: “I couldn’t have been prouder of the children for how they showed their wonderful ability on a big stage. They were cheered on by brilliant family, staff and school community support in Newcastle on a special night. It is great to see many of our children continue to stay active and join local sport clubs such as South Tyneside Basketball Club. Hoops4health basketball competitions are also great in the early stages, as schools can enter multiple teams (we entered four) which means a wide range of children of all abilities can take part. This gives lots of children a great experience which develops their character and self-confidence.

In October, St Bede’s will represent South Tyneside in the Champion of Champion Regional Finals, which promises to be an exciting occasion for the South Shields children, as they head back to the Vertu Motor Arena.

For more information about BCCET, please visit www.bccet.org.uk.