Meet the Sheffield Hatters – who were back at work less than 24 hours after winning women’s basketball national trophy

An open top bus parade, popping the champagne corks and civic receptions – any or maybe even all of these are ways in which sports teams celebrate their successes.

But after Sheffield Hatters clinched victory over Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's British Basketball League Cup on Sunday – the first time they have lifted the trophy – the celebrations were somewhat muted.

Sheffield Hatters celebrate their Women's BBL Cup win. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Hatters celebrate their Women's BBL Cup win. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

And for good reason – it was a case of back to reality within hours. Teacher Naomi Campbell, Hatters' joint captain, was marking her pupils’ books on Sunday night and less than 24 hours after scoring the dramatic winner with just 0.9 seconds left on the clock, fellow joint captain Helen Naylor was back to work managing a team of social workers in Doncaster.

Helen, 31, netted a three-point shot with the clock ticking down at Arena Birmingham to see the Hatters lift the trophy.

She said: “It was amazing, it was a really good day. I think it's something we set out as a goal at the beginning of the season to get back to the trophy finals we are used to playing in and to win it in the way we did was amazing.”

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Sheffield Hatters beat Sevenoaks Suns to win the WBBL Cup on Sunday. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Hatters beat Sevenoaks Suns to win the WBBL Cup on Sunday. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Describing the winning shot, she added: “We drew up a play and it was not quite how we drew it up but I knew there wasn't much time left and I thought ‘I’m going to have to shoot’.

“I put my knees into it and I thought ‘that looks good.”

Helen, who joined Hatters at the age of 18, said she was sure the team will ‘find some time’ to celebrate their win.

She added: “It’s great to win but it’s a long season and hopefully we'll be able to celebrate when we win the playoffs.”

Helen Naylor celebrates her winning three-point shot. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Helen Naylor celebrates her winning three-point shot. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sarah McQueen, Hatters’ trustee, said the win had given the club a great opportunity to promote itself and women’s basketball as a whole.

She said: “It was an immense day. I was sitting next to our chairman Betty courtside and talk about heart attack material. We knew it was going to be a close game and a lot of the stuff that was said before was how it was great to finally have the top two teams in the final.

“We were winning by 10 points and then they came back in the final quarter so it was really nail-biting.”

A meeting to discuss finances probably won't be on the top of most sports clubs’ lists but that will be what the Hatters’ trustees will find themselves doing just a day after their cup final victory.

Sheffield Hatters in action against Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Hatters in action against Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

The game was broadcast live online, a report featured on the homepage of the BBC Sport website and Hatters have also featured on a number of TV news programmes.

Sarah said: “The publicity we’ve had means everything. It’s all about raising the profile of the club and the sport.

“Unfortunately, people still link girls with netball rather than basketball. Netball is getting a good profile now and we need to get to that stage too.

“We’re on the front page of the BBC Sport website and getting them to buy into us as a sport means absolutely everything because it brings in sponsors.”

The club, which became the first women’s basketball team in the country in 1962, had to launch a fundraising campaign to pay for a new minibus after their previous one broke down on the A1 on the way back from a game in London last year.

Its first team consists of four professional players, with the rest working full-time alongside their basketball.

Sheffield Hatters took on Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Hatters took on Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Betty Codona, 80, Hatters’ chairman, who founded the club, said: “It was very hard work even though I was sitting down all the time.

“I knew Sevenoaks were a very good team and I knew they would come back at us and then towards the end when it really close it was unbearable.

“When it got to the final few seconds I knew we had one shot and then I thought who would take it and when it went in I jumped up and banged on the media desk.”

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Betty, who was awarded an OBE in 1998 for services to sport, said the win meant an ‘awful lot’ to the club.

She said: “Even something as simple as a photocopier to produce leaflets and flyers, we have to think about whose we can use as we can’t afford to buy one.

“We struggle for every penny and we have to work hard for every penny.”

Betty said the publicity following the victory had been ‘amazing' and added: “We will celebrate properly at some point.”

Sheffield Hatters joint captains Naomi Campbell and Helen Naylor, pictured with the WOmen's BBL cup. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Hatters joint captains Naomi Campbell and Helen Naylor, pictured with the WOmen's BBL cup. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Sharks beat Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL

Sheffield Sharks beat Sevenoaks Suns in the Women's BBL Cup Final. Picture: Mansoor Ahmed/BBL