Sporting Excellence Scholar: Benjamin Riddle
Photo Credit: Leigh Acton Photography

Name: Benjamin Riddle

Sport: Basketball

Course: FdSc Strength Conditioning and Sports Coaching 

Role model: Brad Stevens, Head Coach of the Boston Celtics NBA team.

Ben Riddle, Plymouth College student and Plymouth University Raiders Assistant Coach, discovered basketball at the age of 11 and since then, has never looked back

Now 18 years-old, Ben claims the title of youngest coach within the entire British Basketball League (BBL).

Ben applied for a Sporting Excellence Scholarship here at Plymouth University to enable him to pursue his study and sport with Plymouth’s professional basketball team’s growing academy whilst studying.

Ben has grown up in Plymouth and was drawn to the University due to excellent facilities and partnerships.

Ben said:

“Being a ‘local lad’ I was, of course, aware of the excellent reputation of the University and its Sporting Excellence programme, which played a big part when it came to choosing where to study.”

Ben explains that the Sporting Excellence programme will ease financial pressure and will allow him to focus time and energy into his studies and sport.

Before becoming a coach himself, Ben was lucky enough to be coached by professional players at Raiders camps. This experience inspired him to become involved in basketball at BBL level which, unlike many other young players, involved becoming part of the support team behind the scenes, rather than a player on the court.

Not only is Ben involved with the Raiders BBL Team, but he has taken on the role of the very first University of Plymouth Students’ Union (UPSU) Basketball Ambassador. His responsibilities include coaching the UPSU British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Basketball Squad.

In recognition of all these achievements, and his genuine passion and commitment for the sport, Ben was then given the amazing opportunity to become Assistant Coach of the Plymouth Raiders BBL professional team.

 He said:

“I hope my ongoing involvement with the Raiders will allow me to instil a ‘professional’ mentality into the BUCS team here at the University.”

Ben’s secret to success:

“Just hard work, dedication and accepting the bad days with the good. Sport has many highs and lows and must be dealt with in a level-headed way.”

Ben’s goals for the upcoming year and the future:

“To continue to enjoy my degree course. I’m lucky because by being so involved in coaching at the Raiders and with BUCS, I have a unique opportunity to apply many aspects of my course to real life situations and experiences.”

“In the longer term, I want to pursue my dream of becoming a head coach of a professional basketball team.”

 A few words of advice from Ben for anyone who wishes to apply for the Sporting Excellence Scholarship programme:

“Just go for it, the University offers fantastic opportunities and facilities and you can live in one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Throughout my time here at Plymouth University, I will be aware that I am always representing the University in all my activities as a chosen scholar and it will give me huge pride.”

Sporting Excellence Scholarships

At Plymouth University, we recognise that sporting excellence has the power to inspire and have a proven track record of helping our students realise their sporting and academic ambitions. 

Read more about sporting scholarships