Richard Pallant © 2013

 

                                                                                                             

Corvus Cornix Basketball Club

 

History of the club

 

 

In 1969 Ken and Di Charles came to Royston to take up teaching posts. Ken opened the first Hertfordshire middle school, Greneway.

 

Since there was no basketball in town and Ken had a rich experience of coaching the English Schools under 19 , the England Juniors (Under 19's, the England Senior teams and the successful Herga Club in Harrow, basketball was soon to be a feature of Royston sport.

 

Mini-Basketball for under 12 year olds was developing in the world and Greneway soon became a ‘centre of excellence ‘of Mini-Basketball.

 

As the players grew in age and they were ready for senior basketball, it was decided to create Corvus Cornix Basketball Club, named after the ‘Royston Crow’, now extinct in town. The girls proved to be very successful and playing for Meridian School won the National Individual and the English Schools Inter -County championships, under Ken’s coaching. The boys mean while enjoyed success in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

 

Ann Banner, Anita Curtis. Morag Cheyne, Patricia McIlvenna & Isobel Cheyne all represented English Schools and Ann Banner and Anita Curtis went on in later years to play for the England Senior women’s team and Anita also for Great Britain in the Olympic campaign.

 

The team was now contesting high ranking in the Women’s National League and the Beds and Cambs Women’s League. The games took us all over the country, even as far afield as Edinburgh. As we did not enjoy having a full size court in Royston, the women played out of the Kelsey Kerridge Sports Hall Cambridge and after several years at the Luton Regional Sports Centre.

 

The nucleus of the team were Roystonians, but we were fortunate to recruit, amongst others,Glynis Anderson, a former England Senior player, Carol Horn, a former  captain of the University of Melbourne, Australia, Mary Franklin, another Melbourne Uni  player, and Jennifer Collard, who went on to be an England trialist.

As time went on players were married and bore children, it was decided to bring an end to the women’s national and regional programme.

 

Greneway came for twenty five years the home of the annual residential National Mini-Basketball Festival. Over 2,000 young players developed their skills under the expertise of a corps of coaches and national team players. Alongside that programme Greneway also hosted for many years the national inter school rally, before it was moved indoors to the Luton Regional Centre.

 

Meanwhile Mini-Basketball in the world was growing, then the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) persuaded Ken to resign from his headship to become the Secretary General of the FIBA Mini-Basketball, which would take him to each of the five continents, presiding over conferences and training coaches, leaders, lecturers and instructors in the Mini-Basketball code.

 

One of his tasks was to organise and manage the European Mini-Basketball Festival, in fact Greneway hosted it one year. A number of Corvus players represented England in Europe and several went on to coach at the international event alongside Di Charles, Terry Graves, Vicki Foulger, Catherine Brown, Jennifer Collard and Craig Collard.

 

Today the senior players travel to Wodson Sports Centre, Ware on a Friday evening for a tournament affectionately known as the Beer League, but I don’t think much alcohol is consumed!

 

We are shortly to manage a Central Venue League for Under 14 year olds. In the longer term we hope to have national league teams featuring at all junior ages.

 

You can be assured of expert coaching and friendship at Corvus!

 

 

New members welcome of all ages and abilities. For details please contact Di Charles on 01223 207213 or

 

 di.charles2@btinternet.com