CONEL Basketball Academy team win gold at Association of Colleges Sport National Championships

Basketball players at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) have won gold in the Association of Colleges Sport National Championships.

The team from the college’s Basketball Academy team were crowned champions after they beat Richard Huish College 14-10 at the tournament in Nottingham on 16 April.

The teams were divided into Pool A and Pool B and played against each other with the winning and runner-up teams in each pool competing for a place in the final.

CONEL had lost to Richard Huish College early on in Pool A but won against Cardiff and Vale College, Moulton College and Xaverian College in the competition.

As Pool A runners up, the team then played and beat Pool B winners Leeds City College 20-14 to reach the title decider against Richard Huish College.

CONEL was awarded 10 points towards the London region’s victory in the Wilkinson Sword Trophy, which is presented to the college region winning the most points.

Team captain Juan Nguema, 18, said: “It feels incredible to win the gold. The game was close, we won by just four points. Everyone was screaming, jumping and happy. It was amazing.

“We didn’t know what teams we would be playing but we felt confident. We all went there to win. The team’s success was down to our energy in defence, which made it easier for the offence. We didn’t play well in some of the games but as we began to trust each other more, we started to move the ball better.

“The coaches at CONEL are the best I’ve ever had and took the team to the next level. They helped our gameplay to make the right decisions, and really motivated us to believe in ourselves.”

The team also comprised Hakim Linton, Omari Pond-McKenzie, Gelsomary Camolo, Suroosh Yakin, Shaquille Thomas, Josh Genus, Ocean Brobbey, Dante Margai, Chad Neptune and Eren Cifci.

They trained every day at the college in the run up to the tournament and attended a training camp hosted by the London School of Basketball over the Easter break.

CONEL secured their place at the national tournament after winning in the regional finals at Redbridge Sports Centre in Ilford in December.

Basketball Academy coach AJ Roberts said: “Going into the tournament we knew we had a strong team and could compete, but in the past we have lost focus and concentration during games mainly on the defensive side of the court, so our focus was to get as many stops as possible.

“We won our first two games and could have got cocky but lost to the team we played in the final in group play, which may have been a blessing in disguise. I told the boys they caught us at a moment when we weren’t prepared, and they locked in, focused and took them out.

“The team put in a lot of effort and fully deserved their win. I always tell people nothing is given, everything is earned. To come away as champions is a testament of all their hard work and has given me more hunger to taste that success again. I feel incredibly proud to be their coach.”

CONEL’s Basketball Academy is located at the college’s Enfield Centre, which is also home to its Football Academy, Netball Academy, Martial Arts Academy, Athletics Academy and Esports Academy.

The college runs courses in Sport, Gym Instructing, Personal Training. Sports Psychology and Nutrition and Health. Find out more and apply here.

Find out more about CONEL’s Sports Academies here.

CCCT facilities management apprenticeship among the best in UK awarded by industry body

Facilities management apprentices completing training with Capital City College Training (CCCT) are among the highest achievers in the UK recognised by the industry body.

Four of the five Level 3 facilities management apprentices awarded a Distinction by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management from July 2021 to July 2022 trained with CCCT.

The UK facilities management industry is one of the largest in Europe worth £47 billion and employs around 10 per cent of the population.

Facilities management involves the day-to-day running of operations and support services to maintain and improve an organisation’s infrastructure and productivity.

It includes roles in health and safety, risk, business continuity, procurement, sustainability, space planning, energy, property and asset management. 

Facilities management also often oversees activities like catering, cleaning, building maintenance, environmental services, security and reception.

Laura Gripinska, 31, gained a promotion at global real estate and investment firm CBRE after achieving a Distinction on her Facilities Management Level 3 Apprenticeship.

She said: “I already had experience working in facilities and knew it was a field that I enjoy working in and was looking at ways to build my knowledge to progress in my career.

“I felt like I lacked some of the theoretical knowledge and ways to put that into practice. The apprenticeship filled in these gaps and helped me with my development and understand more about the many different areas you can specialise in within facilities management.

“The training I received also made me much more confident in my job and pushed me to challenge myself within my role. It also gave me the opportunity to take on additional tasks and projects to develop my skills.

“By the end of my apprenticeship, I had managed to progress from Facilities Coordinator to an Assistant Facilities Manager for the UK.”

Born in Lithuania, Laura previously worked in hospitality management and moved into facilities management four years ago and has no regrets about her decision.

“I enjoy how versatile you have to be to work within this industry. It is a very fast-paced environment that grows and changes constantly,” she said.

“You get exposed to a lot of different fields from finance, procurement and mechanical and electrical services to sustainability projects, health and safety, and much more. It’s never dull and always challenging. It’s also very rewarding as you can see how your work positively impacts people and your ideas come to life.”

CCCT offers a Facilities Services Level 2 Apprenticeship and Facilities Management Level 3 and Level 4 Apprenticeships with many top employers across London. 

Margaret Gotlib, Head of Apprenticeships at CCCT, said: “Laura is one of the many success stories from our facilities management apprenticeship programmes, which we have been running with some of the UK’s leading organisations in the sector for more than 15 years.  

“Our strong relationships with employers mean our highly experienced tutors are aware of the skills the industry needs and are training people to the highest possible standard to enable them to progress in their careers.”

Find out more about our Facilities and Estates Management apprenticeships and apply here.

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