North East basketball coach nets national role

North East students are celebrating as their basketball coach has netted a top spot coaching the country's young talent.

Ian Macleod, coach at Gateshead College and Newcastle Eagles, has been appointed as assistant coach for England U15s.

The 28 year-old from Walkergate in Newcastle was offered the position after coaching National League basketball for more than 10 years with the Newcastle Eagles School of Excellence. He's been head coach for the North East Under 15's Regional Team for the last two years.

Ian has also helped Gateshead College's Basketball Academy to top the league in the British Colleges (BCS) League and recently led them to victory in the Gateshead Schools' Cup.

Ian said: "Basketball has really taken off in the UK and lots of young kids are picking up the sport for the first time, which is fantastic for the game.

"It's an exciting time for British basketball and I'm so honoured to have been invited into the National Team Junior set-up which is made up of the country's top young basketball players."

Ian will continue to develop the skill and talent of the Basketball Academy at Gateshead College's Academy for Sport where he has been Head Coach for three years. He will also continue his role as development officer and head coach at Newcastle Eagle's School of Excellence, where he's worked for the last six years.

Lewis Pendleton, Sports Academy Manager at Gateshead College, said: "We're all extremely proud of Ian and this is a fantastic achievement for him.

"It's also very good news for our students as it further cements our commitment to provide the best possible coaching and development opportunities unrivalled anywhere else in the country."    

In his role as England assistant coach to the U15s, Ian will be involved in national team training camps and at least one international tournament, which will be held in June in Copenhagen.

Gateshead College's Basketball Academy players receive up to nine hours professional coaching each week, competitive matches in English Schools and British Colleges competitions, as well as specialist Strength and Conditioning support with the students training alongside senior Newcastle Eagles players. The students train in world-class facilities at the Academy for Sport at Gateshead International Stadium and Gateshead Leisure Centre.

Gateshead College is number one for sport in the region. The college has twelve specialist sport academies in men's and women's football, athletics, netball, rugby, basketball, cricket, golf, swimming, judo, rowing and boxing, and the best sport facilities in the region.