Due to the huge growth seen in the number of age groups teams and interest in FIMBA GB, the Committee was set up in the summer of 2023 to support the running of the FIMBA GB family.
The committee is made up of players, coaches and team managers from various age group teams to ensure a breadth of opinions and insights. Taking all the feedback from players, partners, supporters and members, the committee is taking FIMBA GB to the next level by creating the best on court and off court experience possible. Read on to meet the team.
Nicky is the FIMBA GB lead delegate and currently plays for the +60 Women. A fully qualified referee, including wheelchair basketball, in which she was privileged to officiate at the London 2012 Olympics, Nicky has held several key positions in British Basketball over the years. As a Director of Basketball England, Nicky was instrumental in defining a wide range of BE projects as well as the numerous policies, procedures and strategies required. At the British Basketball Federation, Nicky was a key ambassador for women’s basketball through coaching, officiating and playing, as well as working with FIBA to promote the HerWorldHerRules project to get more girls involved with basketball and overseeing the GB Women’s senior programme. In 2015 Nicky took over from the late Bill McInnes as Chair of GB Masters. Following GB Masters example masters tournaments have now sprung up all over Europe and further afield. At a Strathclyde Masters Nicky was introduced to Vincenc Butala who was then the President of FIMBA Europe and they started discussing how GB could join the FIMBA organisation. Nicky and Maria Endacott-Heser then forged forward recruiting Team Managers, Coaches and Assistants entering 16 teams in the European Championships in Malaga, 2022 and coming home with medals galore.
For me, I take great joy and pleasure seeing older players still with their boots on enjoying the game, connecting with old friends as well as making new ones. If they are not able to actually play then staying involved in another capacity is key to keeping everyone in the game. We are now looking forward to Italy 2024 where we will compete again on the European stage.Nicky Shaw
Maria is also a FIMBA GB delegate and plays for the +55 Women. Maria started playing basketball aged 18 and was inspired to play by her three older brothers. Her proud connection to the sport is that a relative (Paul Endacott, a Basketball Hall of Famer) played in the first Naismith team and was instrumental in creating the rules of the game. She has played for Surrey County, South East England and London Towers (National League). She currently plays for Cobham Cobras in the Surrey League, Team Fusion Masters and the FIMBA GB +55 Women’s teams. As well as playing, Maria has been an active committee member for a number of basketball organisations including The Women’s Committee for Basketball in London, the Surrey Basketball Association, GB Masters and is a founder member of FIMBA GB. She has also coached a number of teams at various levels, including Kingston College and Kingston University.
I am extremely proud to be a part of the FIMBA GB organisation both as a founding committee member and as a player. Playing a part in enabling Masters basketball players to represent at top level internationally is priceless and is a cause that is very dear to my heart. Along with that comes the many wonderful friendships that have I have made along the way, and of course, the honour and opportunity to fly the flag. It’s great to feel part of the FIMBA community which has become like a family to me.Maria Endacott-Heser
Bruce was a forward with the successful GB Wolfpack +40 Men, winning European Silver and World Cup Bronze, but whilst rehabbing from knee surgery he is now Assistant Coach of the FIMBA GB +40 Women. Bruce only started playing at university after a successful rugby career was cut short through injury. He helped his university team earn promotion in the (then) BUSA league before a year studying and playing in the Italian university league. Upon his return to the UK, Bruce found his home in Nottingham and spent his entire career there, winning 6 National Titles and 2 MVPs in the process. He still holds two club records with the Nottingham Hoods for most rebounds in a game (22) and most rebounds per game (9.7 average from over 100 games).
I love being part of the FIMBA GB family, it is a really special experience both on and off the court and the comradery between the age groups is great. I’m really excited to see where we can take the organsiation.Bruce Lauder
David is a centre for the +55 Men and is a veteran of two European tournaments, having played in the FIMBA Championships in Spain and ESBA Championships in Portugal. Previously, David played in the Carlsberg League with Kingston and Derby, National League with Doncaster and Sheffield and still plays in the Sheffield local league with Worksop.
Playing for FIMBA GB is a great honour, a fantastic experience and an opportunity to be part of an amazing ‘family’.David Spindley
Des is Head Coach of the FIMBA GB +55 Men and started his playing career in Northampton, surrounded by a group of incredible supportive people where he learned to love the game. His youth career was spent in Milton Keynes and Hemel before a stint at St John’s University in New York on an academic scholarship. Upon returning to the UK, Des played was offered a contract at Birmingham where he unfortunately suffered a career ending injury and with it his dreams. After a traumatic few years, and having hit rock bottom, Des’s GP suggested a hobby to motivate him and so he started his coaching career with the u16 Leicester Riders team. Having moved to North Wales, Des took over coaching a failing University that had won just 1 game in the last 40. His impact was immediate, flipping the run on it’s head winning 31 of their 32 games and reaching the BUCS National Conference Finals. Another university came calling and the same results, turning a 1-19 BUCS team to an 18-1 team, earning promotions for both the men’s and women’s teams. Having stepped away from basketball for a few years, Des was coaxed back to scrimmage with the FIMBA GB +55 Men and made the team to go to the European Championships.
The basketball world is a huge family, one that is there for a lifetime and you can either embrace it and be active or sit on the sidelines and not get the benefit of the lifestyle, fun and friendships being made around you. When the opportunity to coach the +55s came up, I threw my name into the hat, having been a part of the FIMBA Family, and I’m honoured to be the Head Coach of the M55’s it’s an honour that 40 years ago, when I first started playing, I would never have dreamed of. Friendships are difficult to maintain at the best of times, but being part of an organisation that embraces friendship, a sport that knows no age limits and being able to combine a recreational environment within a professional atmosphere is something that rekindles the competitive spirit and overflows into your personal and business life. We all need an outlet and being part of the FIMBA Family is the outlet I’ve needed.Des Williams
Peter is versatile shooter with the +40 Men, winning a bronze medal with the team at the World Cup in 2023. Most of his semi-professional career was spent in Belgium in the National League structure where he started at just 17 years of age. Throughout his career Peter has helped teams earn promotion through the ranks due to his high basketball IQ and team first mentality. In the UK, Peter was part of the Surrey Scorchers BBL franchise before joining up with FIMBA GB.
I am both honoured and delighted to be part of FIMBA GB. Catering for a broad range of basketball players aged 35 to 70+ is simply a dream. The game truly never stops.Peter Haling
Sarah was one of the original players in the +35 Women, joining in 2021 and has been their Team Manager as well since 2022. Sarah has spent most of her career on the coast of the Thames Estuary, playing for Whitstable Tigers before switching to Herne Bay where she still plays today, aside from a stint with Folkstone Saints in Division 2. Sarah is also keen on developing players, coaching Whitstable schools u12 and u16s and as player-coach for Herne Bay last season.
Being a part of FIMBA GB as a player since 2021, representing GB at international tournaments is magical. But what’s even more amazing is now I’m also a team manager, providing so many women aged 35+ the opportunity to experience the same as me and wear the GB jersey, making friends for life and continuing the basketball journey. Now having a full age group pathway all the way up to +65 in the women’s section, is just unbelievable!Sarah Cooper