Looking back at my experience as a young player, one of my greatest regrets was never getting a chance to attend a sleep-away camp.
So back in 2007, when I was coaching in Aquinas Grammar School (Belfast), Coach Joe McAufield mentioned in passing that he might be able to get me a gig at Rip ‘n’ Run in Dublin. I practically begged him to get back to Adrian Fulton and let him know I wanted in. It wasn’t long until August rolled around and I learned exactly why Rip ‘n’ Run is arguably Ireland’s number one basketball camp.
Some of the highlights included:
- Top quality coaches (Danny Fulton, Damien Kennedy, Kevin Foley, Paul Kelleher, Colin O’Reilly, Mairead McNally, Jessica Scannell… to name a few… and this list doesn’t even include the US and Spanish coaches…)
- Hoops all day – the schedule is purposefully assembled with skill development early in the day and plenty of games in the evening
- The Dance – Why is ‘the Dance’ featured in my highlights? Picture a a gym full of 100+ young ballers (and eager coaches) warming up to the Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, and Rip ‘n’ Run classics tunes such as, Crazy by Aslan and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Surprisingly, but impressively, with routines choreographed and music DJ-ed by Camp Directors Adrian Fulton and Mark Ingle.
- Diversity – Having coaches from all over the world enhances the learning potential for players and with a variety of players attending from across the different regions in Ireland, there is a a unique sense of community.
- Coaches got to coach – Coaches were always in good form because they got to focus simply on how they would coach their sessions. There were no distractions because the directors made sure every other part of camp was taken care of. Then, late at night, the coaches got to hoop it up during staff pick-up games.
- Players had fun improving their game – The young players were always ecstatic. Wouldn’t you be? These young players are in a safe place, making new friends, working on their game, and having a great time with other ballers from across Ireland.
I still get to hear about how great Rip ‘n’ Run is from my Queen’s U16 girls team. It really is a community and a tradition that continues to grow and get better with time.
This summer it looks set to be the best yet for Rip ‘n’ Run, coming off the back of an exciting Roadshow. The Robinsons Roadshow Tour Bus has been up and down the country hosting competitions and an array of fun basketball activities for young people throughout Ireland.
TCC: Why did the three of you start Rip ‘n’ Run?
Mark Scannell: “The real reason we started Rip n run was that we all had worked many camps for other people throughout the country and felt with those experiences we could do it bigger and better. Mark [Ingle], Adrian [Fulton], and I, are located in different parts of the country. We saw a huge opportunity to get kids to travel from throughout Ireland, and even overseas. The kids that spend a Summer at Rip ‘n’ Run come away with lifelong friendships and the buzz of playing with, and against, teammates & opponents from rival schools and clubs.”
TCC: What do campers have to look forward to this Summer?
Mark Scannell: “The presence of Spanish coaches at Rip ‘n’ Run over the last 5 years has been a major attraction for our campers. These top quality guys bring a unique style of basketball into a fun environment. We are excited to have Jose Maria Berrocal back once again. He is a huge fan of our camp and we are grateful for his support of Rip ‘n’ Run.
TCC: Any other improvements to Rip ‘n’ Run for 2013?
Mark Scannell: “Too many to name! We have focused our energy on the outdoor courts, which have been revamped. We have also added breakaway rims and new court markings, which we hope will make for a great competitive atmosphere.”
In this video, Camp Directors, Mark Ingle and Mark Scannell, talk about what’s in store for Rip ‘n’ Run 2013 and Clodagh Scannell, currently playing basketball for Boston University, tells TCC who her favourite Rip ‘n’ Run coach is. Megan Hoffman, former Adams State (Colorado, USA) player, shares her excitement for this unique camp experience.
Coaching at Rip ‘n’ Run remains one of my favourite basketball experiences. Even thought I’ve spent the past three summers coaching camps in the USA, I hope that one day I’ll get that that call again from from Adrian.
Are you interested in attending a sleep-away Summer Camp? Then maybe Rip ‘n’ Run is for you! Visit their website at www.ripnrun.com to find out more details and how to register.