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Our voice

Tuesday 7th January 2020

Derby City Sports Forum – focus on Derby Trailblazers

We recently caught up with Matt Shaw who is Head Coach of Derby based basketball club – Derby Trailblazers

Here’s what he had to say about community sport and the role they’ve played in #ThisIsDerby



Delivering sessions to young people through the This is Derby project has allowed us to reach children who might otherwise never experience the sport.

But it’s not just about the sport, or the sporting side of things. We embed life and social skills into the sessions so not only are they getting exercise and improving their skills, but we work with them on areas including teamwork, perseverance and problem solving, amongst many others.

This is Derby has been particularly rewarding given the city-wide initiatives across many clubs, ventures and people, and it’s great to have such a city-wide focus on helping future generations.


Trailblazers has 12 coaches who go into the community during the day to deliver sessions. We have over 20 coaches in the club who deliver to the various teams we have, and This is Derby has also given us the pathway to work in youth centres and at festivals.



Community is something we are very serious about. Since we really started to develop the community arm, around three years ago, it has grown so quickly that we are keen not only to keep helping young people, but also to explore opportunities to work with other demographics.

We find that community sports projects – we’ve also been involved with This Girl Can, Swish, BE outdoor initiative – bring different layers of what sports clubs can do over and above the reason we are fundamentally there, which is of course to teach basketball!

We have seen a small increase in people who stay on and join the club, but that’s not what our community arm is really about; that’s about ensuring that we can serve the community and help improve people’s life in some way.

I’d say to anyone thinking about taking part in community activity that’s it’s a great way to increase the awareness of your sport and also identify children who might have an interest in pursuing the sport outside of school.


If you are keen to find out more you can take a look at the Trailblazers website –


Helen Britten