Sheffield Sharks Launch New HeppSY+ Supported Programme: Above the Rim

Monday 30th October 2017

HeppSY+ has recently embarked on a new programme with the Sheffield Sharks basketball team. The programme, Above the Rim, has been developed by the Sharks to encourage secondary school students to understand the impact and benefits of higher education. The scheme aims to provide young people with relatable and understandable information about university, whilst help them to consider it as an option after leaving school.

The programme engages Sharks players and trainers with young people from similar backgrounds and is based around providing identifiable role models to give students a real insight into what they can achieve. Zach Gachette, a Sheffield Sharks player, led the programme sharing his own experiences of growing up, education and university with the young people involved. The students used the information Zach shared to put together multimedia presentations about his life, education and sporting career.

Commenting on his work on the initiative, Zach said: “As a professional basketball player, I’ve got to be a good role model. Projects like this help me to give back to the community. I came from quite a rough background and have managed to graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, so it’s only fair for me to put something back to try and help other people to have some of the chances that I’ve had.”

As a reward for all their hard work and effort the students received certificates and prizes at a hospitality event before being given a chance to see The Sharks in action.

The student chosen as the winner of the special Most Valuable Player Award from the programme also got the chance to present the game night Most Valuable Player award to Sheffield Sharks player Dirk Williams.

The event was also attended by Director of Hepp and head of HeppSY+, Mike Garnock-Jones.  Commenting on the evening, Mike said: “The programme brought elite sport, higher education and a diverse group of young people together. It’s resulted in raised aspirations and positive attitudes to higher education – a great success”