A youth sports academy, modelled on Eastern European basketball schools, has tripled in size in three months.

Didcot Devils’ mini-basketball academy has more than 30 members aged from four to eleven, training at Didcot Girls School on Saturday mornings.

The academy was launched by Serguei Terekhov, a former semi-professional player, who uses a children’s coaching programme adapted from his schooldays in Russia “I think that in the UK basketball can be as popular as it is abroad.

“When I started, people told me not to bother coaching young children “But if it is possible in other countries then it can happen here.”

The academy has been running since 2009, and its first intake are now playing in the National Under 13 League. They are placed sixth in the Southern Conference League.

Those interested in joining should contact Heather Coombs on 07910 227146 or e-mail enquiry@didcotdevils.org.