Bandon Ravens recruiting players for women’s senior team

March 20th, 2023 5:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

The Bandon Ravens U16 basketball team that defeated Bantry at the beginning of the 2022 girls' basketball season.

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BANDON Ravens Basketball Club is recruiting new female players ahead of the Cork Basketball Division 1 2023/24 season.

Bantry and Skibbereen are synonymous with basketball in the West Cork area, but Bandon Ravens, formed in 2017, is growing and now boasts approximately 150 female members of varying ages, drawn from the town itself and adjoining parishes.

Brendan Conlon – vice-chairperson, committee member and U10 coach – is anxious for the Ravens to build on their growing numbers at underage level ahead of a Division 1 (adult) basketball campaign.

‘Bandon Ravens train and play our home games at Coláiste na Toirbhirte (Presentation College) in Bandon,’ Conlon told The Southern Star.

‘We look after U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U16, U18 and adult basketball teams. At underage level we would compete in the B divisions and at adult level, we are in Division 1, which is the third tier of the women’s grade.’

The Bandon Ravens U14 basketball team.


It is ahead of this season’s Division 1 League (adult) campaign that Bandon Ravens are on the lookout for new members.

Having built steadily through their underage ranks, Conlon believes acquiring some new, more experienced players will benefit their up-and-coming graduates.

‘Basketball is an incredibly popular sport right now even though there are only Bantry, Skibbereen and Bandon clubs – that I know of – set up in West Cork,’ Conlon said.

‘I know that basketball is a wonderful indoor winter sport, offers great exercise and is very well run by the Cork Ladies Basketball Board.

‘No girl is stationary for too long when playing. They get to defend and attack in equal measure. With basketball, you are involved in every aspect of the game.

‘Being an indoor sport also appeals to a lot of people. The only recent downside for us was when Covid hit. We essentially had to shut the club down for two years.

‘We are still a young club and are starting to bring through adult players, aged 17 or 18. A lot of those players are in Leaving Cert or heading off to college. When Bandon Ravens play other clubs, we notice that the more mature clubs have ladies in their 20s, 30s and 40s playing for them.

‘So what Bandon Ravens want to do is find ladies of that particular age profile committed to playing for our adult team. That would take a bit of the pressure off of our younger cohort.’

Importantly, the Ravens’ emphasis is very much on participation, fun and developing the social side of their adult group.

Training and games take place (usually) at weekends with basketball’s season running from late August through to March.

‘A lot of our players play multiple other sports but benefit from basketball by improving their speed, agility and hand-eye coordination,’ Conlon added.

‘You only might play nine or ten minutes per quarter in a basketball game but, my God, it is go, go, go! As a winter sport, it suits a lot of our players as it doesn’t interfere with other sports like GAA.

‘Basketball is also a sport many individuals and families who might have moved to Ireland from other countries enjoy as well. There are a lot of Polish nationals involved with our club as it is a sport they can associate with.

‘So, our Bandon Ravens club is proving increasingly popular and we are hoping to attract new members, especially for our adult women’s team before the new season begins.’

Women of all abilities are welcome to join Bandon Ravens Basketball Club by messaging/WhatsApp messaging Brendan Conlon on 086-8398133 or sending a message through the club’s official Facebook page.

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