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[16 JUL 98] COVENTRY CRUSADERS PRESS RELEASE
Mercia Health Continues To Support The Crusaders

The MHB Coventry Crusaders Basketball Club is pleased to announce that Mercia Health Benefits (MHB) has agreed to continue to support the Club and the expansion of its grass roots development work during the 1998/99 season.

Robert 'Dip' Donaldson, Club owner said:

"MHB's support through sponsorship over the past five years has enabled the Crusaders to establish the best grass roots development programme in the country which continues to grow reaching over 4,000 young people a year."

Basketball currently attracts over 2 million people throughout the country who participate in organised leagues on a regional or national basis.  Coventry's team of basketball development coaches now attend a total of 37 schools, colleges, youth groups and community centres in Coventry reaching 2,000 youngsters a week. They now plan to increase this programme to give everyone in Coventry and Warwickshire the opportunity to be involved in the country's fastest growing sport.

The grass roots development work is now under the guidance of the newly formed Crusader Foundation, which is committed to working with young people in and around the city and supporting them in personal development.

The foundation which is currently seeking charitable status from the Charity Commission will work alongside the basketball club aims to provide positive learning experiences, encourage healthy lifestyles, develop team building skills and inspire racial harmony.

Michele Frasca said:

"Mercia Health Benefits, which is now a member of the BUPA Group, is delighted to be continuing its support of Coventry's own basketball team and their newly established charity - the Crusader Foundation.

"The planned work of the Foundation meets MHB's criteria for sponsorship by providing a suitable profile for MHB via team activities and other community works."

The Foundation hopes to reach all young people, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnic group and financial status.  In addition the Foundation will work closely with Coventry Youth for Christ, combining their knowledge and experience of working with young people with the basketball expertise of the MHB Coventry Crusaders.

MORE INFORMATION: Dip Donaldson 01203 831121

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CWN / News / Newswire / Coventry Crusaders / 16 Jul 98

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