ORMISTON Park Academy, which is part of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), has hired professional basketball player and European Championship finalist Diana Naydenova as the new basketball coach.
Ms Naydenova brings with her a wealth of experience, including over 25 years playing for professional teams in Italy and Croatia, as well as for the Bulgarian National Team. She will be a particularly great asset to those at the academy who aspire to play basketball professionally, with her experience of developing her own love of the sport into a career from a young age.
Ms Naydenova will be assisting with the running of the new Ormiston Park Academy Basketball Excellence Programme (OPABEP). In line with the academy’s commitment to offering their students every opportunity to realise their full potential, the new programme enables them to play and train at a US collegiate programme standard.
The programme, which is free to all Ormiston Park Academy students, offers a balance of high-expectation academic tuition, excellent pastoral support, on-court expert instruction and some healthy competition. All ages and abilities are able to join the programme, which has been designed to help student athletes follow a structured pathway that could lead them to reach club or even national team level.
While the academy will be supporting the athletes at each step of the way, the programme has been arranged to work around academic timetables in order to prioritise their learning and give the students plenty of downtime. Additionally, as part of the programme, the academy is also on hand to help those interested apply for international scholarships in both Europe and the US.
This presents an excellent opportunity for Ormiston Park Academy students to have world-class training in what has now become the country’s second most played sports for secondary school aged kids.
Furthermore, while the sports professional league in the UK is still in the growing stage, following the success of Team GB in wheelchair basketball during the Summer Paralympics this year, there is widespread expectation that interest in the sport will continue to rise.
Mark Roessler, Principal at Ormiston Park Academy said:
“The programme and the appointment of Diana Naydenova offers a fantastic opportunity for our students to challenges themselves by providing them with a platform to achieve their goals both on and off the court.
“The programme embodies all of our core vision and values, and most importantly our aspirations. We encourage our students to work towards success and responsibility and help them to gain the skills they need to pursue their dreams.”