Young basketball star Jayden Baldie looking to travel the world

·3-min read
Jayden Baldie

PROMISING young basketball star Jayden Baldie is hoping his talent can take him all over the world writes Alec McQuarrie.

The 17-year-old from Preston felt honoured to be in Loughborough for a special ‘Immersion Camp’ organised by the Team England Futures programme over the weekend

The programme will see over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind-the-scenes.

Team England Futures seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

And the Myerscough College student, who counts Michael Jordan and LeBron James as inspirations, believes his sport can help him scale the international heights.

“I’ve already travelled to Denmark for a competition,” said Baldie, speaking at a Team England Futures Immersion Camp in Loughborough, where athletes and support staff had the chance to meet each other, visit Kitting Out and experience workshop sessions on topics such as working with the media, mental wellbeing and anti-doping.

“I’ve travelled all across England, you name it.

“Hopefully I can play pro somewhere. I’m hoping to go to an American University or play in European countries like Spain or Italy.”

The Team England Futures Immersion Camp proved a fantastic chance for Baldie to experience what goes into producing a multi-sport Games like Birmingham 2022.

Baldie said: “I was excited to see what it’s like because I’m not too familiar with the behind-the-scenes aspect. Seeing it was quite impressive.

“I’ve seen how much detail is actually put into it, the preparation for staff and athletes. Especially with the kit, all the little details to make sure that you’re proud to represent England.

“It’s also a really good opportunity because I didn’t realise how limited the number of spaces was.”

Baldie says he fell in love with the sport because it requires a high speed of thought and movement, but also because it teaches players to constantly find solutions.

He said: “The thing I enjoy most about being a basketball player is the fact that it’s such a high-paced game. You have to literally think on the spot, quick fire.

“There’s a lot of problem solving as well, which I think is really helpful both on and off the court. Being inquisitive helps you to become a great player.”

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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