Thunder need help to reach next level

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club chairman Frank Gainsbury is eager to get more sponsors and people on board to help the club move on to the next level.

Selby Hind-Wills in action during Thunder's 85-79 win against Tees Valley on Saturday
Selby Hind-Wills in action during Thunder's 85-79 win against Tees Valley on Saturday

In recent programme notes, Gainsbury wrote that the club needs to secure more commercial sponsorship to challenge the top sides in National League Division 1.

Thunder have a strong youth policy but Gainsbury feels the club are “two really good players short of being the side we should be”.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

While admitting that the club’s youngsters will continue to get better, he said: “The reality is that the club needs to be able to secure more commercial sponsorship to challenge the top few sides.

“Thunder will continue to bring on and develop young and local talent but we need to seek out sponsors and commercial partners to move the club up to the next level.”

Thunder have two more home league matches this season, on March 21 and March 28, and the club would welcome any potential sponsors to attend to meet with them and to watch a game.

Gainsbury said: “We are immensely grateful for the sponsors we have got and to the people who are involved with the club.

“But, as a club, we need to get more people involved. We play on a national platform and only Brighton & Hove Albion, Crawley Town and Sussex County Cricket Club play at a higher level in the county.

“What we can offer commercial sponsors is match-night sponsorship, advertising, branding on kit, right up to naming rights of the club.

“We want it to work both ways, though, so would be keen to speak to anyone interested to see what we could give back.

“For example, accomodation locally at a hotel, which has a spare room at quiet times, for our overseas players would be helpful.

“The product that we put on every match at home makes for a great night out. Some of the sponsors we have this season have held commercial events at matches and have enjoyed a great night out.

“It’s a fast-paced family friendly atmosphere and the match-night product is second to none and a lot better than a lot of BBL teams.”

Gainsbury praised his Thunder side for how they have competed this season and said: “They compete very well every week and have beaten some of the top teams this season.

“The players we have got are very good and the youngsters are coming on so well but we just lack consistency and depth. We just need a couple more key players to help the side.”

Gainsbury admits that Thunder would again like to compete in the BBL, where they played from 2008 to 2011 and said: “If we had the infrastructure and finances in place for a sustainable club, then the BBL will always be the long-term goal.”

Thunder will be looking for a new finance director, a voluntary role which would suit someone who is semi-retired, at the end of the season.

For more information about that, or how to get involved with sponsoring the club, call Frank Gainsbury on 07971 984920.