Basketball mourns the passing of legendary pioneer Betty Codona OBE

Basketball mourns the passing of legendary pioneer Betty Codona OBE


The British Basketball group is coming collectively to pay tribute to the legendary pioneer Betty Codona OBE, who has sadly handed away.

An unrivalled colossus of the ladies’s sport within the UK, Codona devoted 60 years of her life to passionately inspiring hundreds of individuals to play the game that she beloved a lot.

In a stellar profession that started as a PE Teacher and resulted in her founding the Sheffield Hatters in 1961, she not solely went on to win numerous titles and set up essentially the most profitable membership in girls’s basketball, however she additionally performed an immeasurable function in rising the sport.

The enthusiasm, dedication and abilities of Codona got here out in every thing she did. From when she proudly stepped out as a participant and competed within the first ever National Cup Championship in 1965, to when she subsequently delivered 40 separate items of silverware as head coach between 1989 and 2009, previous to transferring on to work because the Chair of the membership.

The record of honours that Hatters snapped up below her stewardship from the sidelines is staggering, with Codona having amassed an array of basketball titles together with the BBC Unsung Hero for Yorkshire. All of these fed into the 65 in complete that Hatters have received since she based the organisation, making them essentially the most profitable ever.

Described by many who knew her as a drive of nature, the inclusive and household atmosphere that Codona fostered inside Hatters is one thing she was fiercely happy with and can stay stronger than ever.

That social cohesion and group work was additionally a significant factor within the awards that she was each given and in rivalry for. As nicely as richly deserving her OBE, late final yr, at 83-years-old, she was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Codona additionally had the Women’s British Basketball League Trophy Final named after her and WBBL Chair, Jim Saker stated: “When I first became Chair of the WBBL, my first official duty was to present flowers to Betty on her 80th birthday before the Betty Codona Trophy Final. It was my first meeting with her, and from then on, she became both a source of advice but more importantly, a respected friend. She will be sadly missed.”

Basketball England CEO, Stewart Kellett said: “Betty lived an amazingly full and productive life. Her ardour, dedication and selflessness in selling and serving the game, and particularly, girls’s basketball, has been unparalleled when it comes to its success and affect.

“She was one of a kind. Her spirit and generosity saw her contribute to the sport and her community in Sheffield over such a long period of time, positively impacting so many lives. She will be greatly missed but her fantastic legacy is rightly a huge source of pride form her family and the Hatters club and all of us in basketball.”

British Basketball Federation interim chair, Toni Minichiello stated: “The time period legendary is overused in sport, however it’s becoming in Betty’s case. She has been and continued to be the lynchpin for feminine basketball and basketball on the whole in Sheffield and throughout the nation for many years.

“Her tireless effort, spirit and influence and have done so much good for the game and for the young people who come through – and continue to come through – the Hatters club. She is going to be sadly missed by many, but she leaves a dynasty behind her in her family and the club that will continue her brilliant work long into the future.”

British Basketball League Chair, Sir Rodney Walker added: “Betty is rightly revered for her incredible work and legacy in the women’s game, but what can never be forgotten is that she impacted the sport for everyone, not just for girls and women. Her community work and dedication in helping to grow the game for all young people and from so many different backgrounds, is what matters most. The sport is incredibly privileged to have had such a formidable and amazing role model like Betty for so many years.”

Betty’s household described her as: “An inspiration for all, she was determined, relentless, intelligent and most of all passionate. Betty’s ethos will live on through every female who has represented the Hatters. Everyone here within the Hatters are deeply saddened but we stand united to carry on Betty’s values and beliefs as we respect the past and we will forge the future.”

She was extraordinarily happy with her two daughters Vanessa Ellis and Loraine Gayle who performed to the best stage of basketball in England all through the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties. Vanessa has adopted Betty’s footsteps into teaching, assistant teaching Great Britain and main England to a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2008. She was most happy with her grandchildren: Tyler a Hatters coach; Georgia a star participant for the Sheffield Hatters WBBL and GB consultant; Quinn a prospect enjoying for Capo d’Orlando in Italy.

Currently of their Diamond Anniversary yr, the legacy that Codona leaves the membership goes means past the Hatters. It spans not solely the local people, but in addition leaves an indelible print on British Basketball itself.

The sport will stand collectively this coming weekend in recognition of her staggering accomplishments, with 24 seconds of applause earlier than every sport throughout the BBL, WBBL, and NBL, as British Basketball pauses to recollect and respect a real nice





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