The Ballinasloe Basketball Club OAKS are approaching their 10 year anniversary and are hoping to return to regular training sessions after a drop in attendance resulting from Covid.
Founded in 2014, the Mens club has welcomed many members from Ballinasloe, Athlone and surrounds over the years. The club tends to prefer competing in friendlies and meet occasionally to play and share their enthusiasm for the sport.
The club is supported by two coaches presently - including Rytis Markauskas, a medical manufacturer working in Galway currently living in Ballinasloe. Rytis is well qualified in playing and coaching the sport, having practiced with many Irish national teams. He is joined by Thomas, a loyal coach to the club who similarly has plenty of experience in teaching the game.
The team supports 5-6 people who are currently relied upon as if they lose a player, they are forced to cancel their events. Rytis expressed his ambition for the club, hoping to return to regular meetings on a weekly basis. The last time the team met was for a play-off session in mid-January but have not gathered since. The group aims to have 10 male players before they can return to regular practice sessions. They currently do not have a membership fee but are hoping to find sponsorship to help increasing operational costs .
The Club OAKS currently practice in the Drum Community Centre in Athlone, roughly 20km from the outskirts of Ballinasloe but are hoping to establish a more practical base for people in the town, scouting a number of venues which would be ideal to play in.
For this year, the club aims to build the skillset and experience of their players before competing in League games. The squad offers some great training by their qualified coaches, along with a fantastic outlet for exercise. Discussing the interest in Basketball in the region, Rytis surmised: “Irish people are much into their own sports and we respect that, but this is another opportunity for a new experience and a prospect to meet people”.
Currently the club are only supporting seniors over 18, but they do hope to have the liberty to teach the sport to underage and girls/ ladies in future. If you would like to join the club, you can contact Rytis at 089 4735566. Or checkout their fbook page BasketballClubOAKS.
CLICK HERE to read the Latest Ballinasloe News Articles