Two Teesside businessmen have launched ambitious plans to bring professional sport to the area with the announcement of significant investment into the Teesside Lions Basketball Club.

Teesside Lions, formerly known as Middlesbrough Lions, was a National League club attracting crowds of 500+ at Eston Sports Academy between 2010 and 2013 and after a five year absence from the National League scene the team are set to return in the 2019/20 season.

James Thomson, chairman and head Coach of the club, has welcomed local businessmen Martin Anderson as more than just a sponsor in what he described as one of the most important ‘signings’ in the club’s history.

Mr Thomson, who will remain owner and continue his role as figurehead of the club and Head Coach of the senior side, said: “This marks a momentous occasion in what will be the foundation for setting up something very big for the area. People who know me, know how ambitious I am and what we have achieved in the past with a relatively modest budget.

“With the support of Martin and others we will set out our plans over the coming weeks and months. We aim to gift the people of the Tees Valley with a dynamic and entertaining sports team to complement the likes of Middlesbrough FC in promoting the area and bringing joy to people.”

Vitally the club will now have the resources and support to develop in a much more professional way and at a much quicker pace, with Martin investing his own money and also dedicating expertise and time.

Martin Anderson, aged 39 from Stockton, is managing director of Lemon Business Solutions, which is an industry leading call management centre based at Preston Farm Industrial estate in Stockton on Tees. The company employ more than 70 staff.

Martin indicated he was very impressed with James and the Lions organisation from the beginning introduction.

“I remember my first impression was very good, from the impressive number of players the club has to some of the recent events I have attended. Everything is well presented and professional, but I believe this is just the beginning and I am excited about being involved in this club and assisting with its development.

“My vision is to host high level spectator orientated events on Teesside and position Lions Basketball firmly on the UK map.” added Martin.

The pair’s combined expertise of sport and business make for exciting potential. They are also keen to stress their commitment to the community and are currently finalising a five year plan along with a Community Development Master Plan that will provide access to training for all ages and abilities across the area.

The club currently attract more than 160 players to six sessions per week. An impressive 80 players take part in the Thursday community session alone. 

James added: “Everyone is aware of the sense of excitement when the Boro are doing well or when Glen Durrant won the BDO World Darts Trophy. The area benefits from an aura of optimism and this emits a positive factor that can enhance the mood of people.

“We want Teesside Lions to play a part in the Tees Valley success story and promote positivity in and around the area.

“We currently have six teams at various age groups and operate central venue leagues every week. Players are attracted from as far afield as Whitby, Leeds, Bedale and Seaham.

“We want to create a pathway for our young players to enjoy realistic ambitions of one day representing Teesside at the highest level.

“Thanks to Martin we can now realise this.”

Over the coming weeks and months the pair will be announcing some key developments to aid their five year plan and vision for the club and welcome any feedback from the community.

If you would like further information on Teesside Lions basketball and their activities around the area visit www.TeessideLions.com or contact the club via info@TeessideLions.com

You can also keep updated with events via Teesside Lions Basketball on social media.