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Belper basketball prodigy sets sights on representing Great Britain

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A Belper basketball prodigy hopes to fulfil ambitions of representing Great Britain after receiving funds to support his fledgling career.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Brown represents Derby Trailblazers and helped the community run club to promotion in both the senior men’s side and the U18 outfit in a remarkable season.

After missing out on selection for Great Britain U16’s last summer through injury, Brown bounced back to be selected for an England U18s training camp this August.

He said: “This year has gone really well for the team. The Derby Trailblazers second team that I play in were promoted to the third division and the U18’s academy side were also promoted to division one.

“Personally, I am really happy with this year. I think I played pretty well because I have been selected for a training camp for England U18’s with fifty other players.

“It’s an exciting process to be in. It takes a lot of training and practice, but it is exciting.

“Next summer there will be Great Britain U18’s who I will hopefully play for at the European Championships.”

Brown’s cause is also being helped by The Nottingham Building Society, who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 local athletes as they try to find their ‘time to shine’, with each receiving £750 of funding.

Having already donated £240,000 to SportsAid to help athletes buy equipment, travel to competitions and receive the training they need to be the best they can, The Nottingham Building Society are now also helping athletes on the path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and beyond.

For the up and coming guard, the financial and advisory support provided by SportsAid has proved invaluable, enabling Brown to ditch his battered trainers and get to get to daily training sessions.

“The money from SportsAid has helped me a lot,” said Brown. “Before SportsAid I didn’t really have a lot.

“I had to wear broken basketball shoes and borrow money off my mum to get to training. She is in full-time work, so I have to get seven train journeys and five buses a week to training.

“Having that funding support, as well as supporting with my basketball shoes and gear, has helped me a lot.

“With the cuts in funding to basketball, SportsAid has provided a bit of a safety net.”

Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine. Visit thenottingham.com to find out more.