Teesside Lions are placing the area on the global sporting map with the hosting of an International Basketball Tournament, taking place this weekend at the 1,200 capacity home of the Lions; Eston Sports Academy.

The event will see two teams from Canada compete against teams from the Lions with 14 games being showcased from 10-5pm over Saturday and Sunday 3rd & 4th August.

Some of the best young players will be on display in this weekend feast of basketball and in addition to the tournament, there will also be a Tournament All Star game at 2pm on Sunday followed by a senior men’s Lions game as part of their pre season preparations for National League.

The Canadian teams are from the Edmonton Stormhawks club based in the province of Alberta and flew into England on Sunday to prepare for the tournament and enjoy some sightseeing. The teams will also participate in the Teesside Lions Summer camps taking place this Thursday and Friday, ahead of the weekend event.

Aaron Johnson, president and coach of the Edmonton Stormhawks is thrilled to be involved adding:

“We are so excited about this trip. We had been fundraising for over a year to give our players the opportunity of a lifetime and we are grateful for the efforts of James (Thomson) and the Lions organisation in helping us facilitate this.

“We can’t wait to see the Teesside sights and are already planning trips to Hartlepool Maritime Museum, Tees Barrage, Roseberry Topping and Raby Castle. We have done so much research about the area and already love the place.”

Teesside Lions Chairman James Thomson believes basketball is a sport than can break down barriers adding:

“Sport in general and basketball in particular is a great vehicle in breaking down cultural, racial and social barriers. The opportunity for players from two countries with multiple ethnicities to come together and enjoy each other’s company both in a competitive sense and a social sense is what life is all about.

“We have put a lot of effort into staging what we hope will be a fantastic and memorable trip. In addition to the spectator orientated tournament will be a basketball camp which will allow the players of both teams to train together and get to know each other. We hope this experience will last, not just a week, but a lifetime and look forward to the beginning of a new Trans-Atlantic partnership that will hopefully see players from Teesside travel to Canada.”

The event is sponsored by Lemon Business Solutions with Managing Director, Martin Anderson, pleased to be playing a role in promoting the club and the area on the world stage.

“Events like this are not cheap and at Lemon we wanted to support the cause to ensure all teams and spectators can enjoy what will be a memorable experience.

“It is great for Teesside to be hosting an International sporting tournament and the club are excellent at staging events so I am sure they will do the area proud.

“I would like to wish all the players, teams and coach’s the best of luck and look forward to attending.”

Spectators are more than welcome and the club are using this as another test event with weekend passes costing only £1. Tickets are available online or at the door.

For more information contact the club on 01642 262818 or visit www.TeessideLions.com