BASKETBALL: THURROCK Hornets Basketball Academy is going from strength to strength. The team, which launched late last year, is based at the Harris Academy in Chafford Hundred.

Groups of enthusiastic players – from players as young as eight through to adults – now train on Mondays and Thursdays under head coach Ellie Grafton.

Grafton previously played in her youth for Essex and East of England and has a lot of experience. She said: “I am delighted to have got Thurrock Hornets up and running. “There is no other basketball club in the area, so I knew it was needed. “I am very passionate about basketball and always look forward to coaching the players at the academy.”

Thurrock Hornets have had support so far from Active Essex and Thurrock Council.

And the Academy is also looking to develop basketball within local schools and eventually enter them into the National Schools League – something that hasn’t happened for many years. Abby Black, who helped set up Hornets alongside Ellie, said: “Thurrock had a high demand to set up a basketball Club. “Thurrock Hornets is lucky to have such an excellent coach on board. “Ellie strives to get the very best out of every individual no matter what ability. We cater for everyone,” she added.