“I'm extremely proud to be involved with Basketball England in preparation for the Commonwealth Games next year,” said Waplington. “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate some of the great talent we have in this country and to help grow the profile of basketball in the UK. Being part of the coaching team for a such a high profile event is what I wanted to be doing when starting my career and it’s an honour to be a part of the process.”
Selection to the staff of the Men’s team represents a real step forward for Waplington after previous work with the U16 and U18 National Teams for England and GB in a similar role. And despite the prestige of the appointment, he hasn’t lost sight of how he started on this path, “I've always had a passion for sports and played a wide variety growing up,” he said, speaking of how he got into S&C. “While I didn't specialise in one area, I was always pretty athletic and became interested in how people could get faster, become stronger or jump higher. This developed to working with coaches at various sports clubs and grew to working with national and international athletes competing on the world stage.”
Whilst the level of player that Paddy has been working with continues to change, the barriers he faces in the role remain the same, “Time is always one of the biggest challenges. Athletes schedules are usually demanding, trying to balance training, competing, studying or working and all other demands in life,” he said. “Having time to consistently work with athletes in order to make an impact to their performance can be difficult, particularly with athletes who are travelling a lot or based abroad.”
Unfortunately, Paddy will have to wait until next April to see Team England in action at the Commonwealth Games but that represents his favourite part of the job, “I love watching the athletes I work with compete. For me, this is when you get to see all the hard work the players and coaching team has put in throughout the season come together, and is why we do what we do.”
Team England Men’s side will be heading out to Australia in late March before their first game of the tournament against Scotland on 5 April 2018. They’ll then follow that up with games against India and Cameroon.