A SPORTS coach from a Little Sutton school has earned a call-up to captain Great Britain in an international basketball tournament.

Mal Stocker Jones, sports coach at Little Sutton Church of England Primary School, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Fimba European Maxi Basketball Championships.

The championships will take place in Malaga, from June 25 to July 5, with Mal taking part in the GB Mens over 55s category.

Mal is well known in the Ellesmere Port area and has taught sports at Little Sutton Primary School for over 18 years, also setting up the Ellesmere Port basketball club which is now known as Cheshire Phoenix, and playing for Liverpool in the National Basketball League.

Mal explained: “I started playing basketball at the age of 12 whilst a student at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School.

"At the age of 14 I represented the catholic schools of Great Britain in Seville. After leaving school, I went to play national league basketball for Liverpool, Bolton and Flintshire.

“My father and I took on the very ambitious task of founding the Ellesmere Port basketball team and we achieved national league status.

"The club changed its name to the Cheshire Jets and then again to the now very successful Cheshire Phoenix.

“After leaving the Cheshire Jets, I returned to play in the National Basketball League division four for Liverpool.

"I played for them right up to the age of 50. I was one of the oldest players in the league.

"It was at this point that my journey started with the Masters Basketball Association, I played all over Europe with Harlem New York, Cheshire Vets and London Eagles.

"From the Masters, I got put forward for the trials in October 2019 and found out just after Christmas that I had been selected to play in the Fimba Championships.

“I feel very honoured to have this opportunity to represent Great Britain and proud to accept the position of captain to the over 55s team.

"My team-mates come from all over the UK and we are currently training once or twice a month, somewhere in England.”

As well as his passion for basketball, Mal is passionate about encouraging children in all types of sports, and has worked at primary schools across the area.

Mal added: “I was self-employed for nine years, teaching all types of sport in primary schools.

"I’ve been at Little Sutton Primary School for 18 years now and teach 12 different sports. It’s really satisfying to see the children develop their sporting skills.

“I set up the popular Cross Country Running Club at Little Sutton Primary School with the support of Mrs Thomas from the school.

"Cross Country Running Club runs after school on Tuesdays and we have 25 children turn out each week in all weathers.

"We’ve got three trophies in the cabinet now which we’ll be defending in the coming months at the Saturday morning races. There’s a massive sports field at Little Sutton Primary School, and we recently hosted a Saturday morning race at the school.

“Basketball and sport in general has been a way of life for me since I was young, and that love of sport is something I hope to pass on to the children I teach.

"It’s not necessarily about winning, but about helping them to achieve their own personal best.”

Executive principal of Little Sutton Primary School, Zoe Carciero, said: “We’re so proud of Mal for this amazing achievement to be not only playing for Great Britain, but to be captaining the team too. What an inspiration he is for our children.”