Wheels in motion for Sheffield Hatters after donations lead to new minibus

Sheffield Hatters. Picture: Sarah McQueen.
Sheffield Hatters. Picture: Sarah McQueen.

Kind-hearted fundraisers have helped keep the wheels in motion at women’s baskeball club Sheffield Hatters after clubbing together to pay for a new minibus.

The Hatters, which became the first women’s basketball team in the countr in 1962, has seven teams including the seniors who play in the women’s British Basketball League, as well as junior teams.

Sheffield Hatters' new minibus.

Sheffield Hatters' new minibus.

But the club, which also has a number of junior teams, was left devastated when their 13-year-old minibus broke down on the A1 on the way back from a game in London and launched a fundraising campaign to raise £15,000 to help buy a new one.

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Sarah McQueen, Hatters’ trustee, said: “We’ve had lots of donations and done all sorts to raise the money but it was three grants that made the difference in the end.

“Luckily, we were towards the end of the season when the old minibus died but we were relying on parents to take their kids to games but that was no good for the senior team.

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“The other point is that travelling on the minibus to games means the team can bond and there are so many memories created on the bus especially with the mileage we do.”

Sarah said the club clocked up around 8,000 miles per season across the seven teams travelling to away games.

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She added: "Our last bus we had for 13 years and it had done more than 110,000 miles. It's not like we're only tootling around the city, we play games across the country."

Lorraine Gayle, Hatters’ trustee, said the three grants which helped the club gather enough cash for the bus were from Garfield Weston, Graves Trust and Clothworkers Foundation.

She said: “Our chairman Betty Codona was instrumental in securing the grants to be able to fund a desperately needed new club minibus. Burrows Toyota Doncaster have also been really helpful in assisting us to find the best value for money minibus out there and have agreed to continue to support us with the ongoing maintenance of our new bus.  When our old long serving bus died last February on the way back from a game in London it has been a real struggle for the club to find cost effective ways of getting all our teams around the country.

“We are eternally grateful to all those people & organisations who have donated and supported us in getting our new bus. Its maiden voyage is on Saturday when WBBL are up in Newcastle and then off again on Sunday as our under-16s junior team are on the road to Ipswich.”