Double celebration for Durham Wildcats
(18 May 2009)
Following the double success of winning EBL Division 3 North, and gaining promotion, Team Durham’s partner club, the Durham Wildcats, have gained further honours in England Basketball’s end of season Awards.
Each Division has two awards, one for Coach of the Year, and one for Player of the Year, and the Wildcats have scooped both titles for Division 3 North. Dave Elderkin has taken the coach award, while Paul Elderkin has captured the player’s – a unique achievement, as it is the first time a father and son have won the two awards in any division! A delighted Paul, who is recognised around the league as one of its best defensive players, as well as a high scorer, says “It's an honour and a privilege to be voted most valuable player in a league which has so many good players”. “It was a difficult year, for me with so many injuries, and that makes the award even more pleasing”. I want to thank my team mates and the coaching staff for all the hard work and support that made the season such a success.” While for Paul this is the first such award that he has gained, Dave’s last accolade came eighteen years ago, when he was BBL Coach of the Month for January, having just guided Sunderland to the National Cup. “If anything, this one gives me even more satisfaction” he comments. “The Sunderland team was professional, but the success at Durham has been achieved with a squad of amateur players, most still young, and all still learning. “I’m naturally delighted personally, but also I’m very pleased for the club. A coach can only be as good as the players with whom he works, and this award is a testament to the effort and commitment that they have put in throughout the season.” Four years ago the Durham Club were playing Local League, but now only England Basketball Division 1 separates them from Elderkin senior’s first club Sunderland, now playing out of Newcastle Arena as Newcastle Eagles.