Belper’s great basketball hope looks to bounce back

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An achilles injury ruled him out of the European Championships last year but Belper’s great basketball hope is back and raring to go.

Charlie Brown may be just 16 but has already represented his country at age group level and, having made a full recovery from injury, is ready to push on.

The Derby Trailblazer, who is in his first year of a sport science course at Derby College, ruptured his Achilles tendon ahead of last year’s European age group Championships, damaging the nerves in his ankle.

But now he’s back and targeting more success.

“I couldn’t walk for ten weeks, I was on crutches, so it was just about the gym, not even basketball, and just doing rehab work – it’s been great to be back this year,” he said.

“My basketball highlight so far has probably been winning gold with my under 15 England team in a European tournament a couple of years ago – England had never won gold there before so we were the first to do it.

“My target this year is to get selected for the England’s under 17 team. I was meant to be a part of the GB team last year but the injury meant I couldn’t go – so I want to get back in this year.”

Brown’s cause will now also be 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 Brown, that also included a trip to Nottingham Racecourse to take part in a workshop, joined by world champion short track speed skater Elise Christie and Olympic champion canoeist Etienne Stott as mentors, an experience he revelled in.

“The support from The Nottingham has helped a lot because I live with my mum and she is busy with my other brothers and I have to catch about 8-10 buses a week and about four trains,” he added.

“Once I turn 17 I’m going to learn to drive to get to different facilities, so I can go train when I want and not have to depend on my mum – the funding will help with that.”

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.