Thu 23 Nov 23
The University of Essex’s 60th Anniversary was celebrated in style with more than 1,450 fans enjoying an “awe-inspiring” showpiece women’s basketball match.
Local families, alumni, students and staff descended on the Colchester Campus at the weekend to celebrate the milestone.
The doubleheader game saw the elite Essex Rebels women's and men’s sides both win in front of a bouncing home crowd.
Away from the on-court action live music, a buzzing fan zone, street food and a children’s play area entertained all who came.
Incredibly Saturday’s game was the second-highest home attendance ever recorded for the Women’s British Basketball League.
And comes just eight months after the franchise secured the record on International Women’s Day.
Vice Chancellor Anthony Forster said: "For a campus-based residential University, witnessing an event like this at the Essex Sport Arena, where the remarkable Essex Rebels
Women's team performs in their home arena, accompanied by nearly 1500 enthusiastic spectators, is truly awe-inspiring.
“This is not only a well-deserved moment for the Essex Rebels but also a fantastic boost for the University of Essex, and especially for women's sports.
“The energy and support from the crowd contribute to creating an incredible atmosphere, fostering a sense of community.”
The Essex Rebels women’s side triumphed against Oaklands Wolves in a closely contested battle.
After a close start, the home crowd cheered the team onto victory with the Rebels winning 92-77.
Standout performances from key players highlighted the Rebels' success.
Darcy Rees made an immense impact with an impressive double-double, contributing 24 rebounds and 15 points.
Megan Haines, returning from representing Great Britain in the international break, showcased her scoring prowess with a remarkable 25 points and Kat Tudor added 19 points to the Rebels' tally.
Head of Basketball Performance Ashley Cookson said: “This was an important win for our team and I’m really happy with the resilience our players have shown throughout the international break.
“We will look to build on the momentum we have and prepare this week for a tough Caledonia team."
The men’s D3 side beat local rivals Anglia Ruskin University 99-59 in a crunch derby clash.
Daljang Wol was voted as the fan’s favourite after the game.