Basketball Grassroots Sport

Humans of Grassroots Sport | Jay Tyson

Read time 4 minutes 

MBA40‘s co-founder Jay Tyson talks about the importance of keeping active in later life and his MBA40 project for our next Humans of Grassroots Sport entry:

Jay TysonMBA40 or Manchester Basketball After 40s is Manchester’s fun, friendly and relaxed weekly basketball night for those of us who’ve reached the big 4 0.

Its mission is making it as easy as possible for players of all standards to get back into team sport, often after a break of decades, and developing good, general fitness.

The club welcomes anyone who wants to come along and play, get a little fitter, have some fun.

They run three sessions each week, all on the same night, that cater for everyone from complete beginners to seasoned players. They are:

Starter – which is run in association with Manchester Giants and is aimed at beginners
Classic – aimed at people who haven’t played since school
Scrimmage – aimed at those who’ve carried on playing, but can’t cut it at the top level anymore

Jay Tyson, co-founder told us:

An old schoolfriend and I started the club just over two years ago when I moved from London back to my hometown of Manchester. We both played a lot as kids, reaching regional school and county levels.

When we decided to start playing again we found it tough to find a suitable level. The 20-somethings were far too quick for us and we weren’t ready for walking basketball! There just weren’t any options for 40-somethings. So, we started our own club.

Basketball is a fun and an incredibly inclusive sport. It’s excellent for developing and maintaining fitness. We both firmly believe in the importance of keeping people active for their own health. Too many people live sedentary lifestyles, often not through choice.

We do what we can to give people the opportunity, but ultimately, it’s down to the individual.

To encourage people to keep coming back every week, it must be fun. It also has to fit into a busy 40-something lifestyle (family, work etc) so we ensure the sessions are at the same time, same day, same place every week.

We monitor how people get along each week with trackers and were amazed when we first saw that people were running between 8 and 10 kilometres each week.

You just don’t notice it, so we’ve come to call it ‘stealth fitness’! We’ve seen big improvements in what people can do now compared to when they first turned up.

We have a great head coach in Stephen Graham from TagRev who devises simple and enjoyable sessions that work across every level. He’s a real asset.

Dave and I focus on developing the club and encouraging new players to come along and just have a go. And when they do, they come back the next week!

After two years we have around 80 regulars, ranging from former internationals to those who haven’t worn a pair of trainers since their schooldays. The better players encourage others and offer advice to develop skills and play, which makes for a great club atmosphere.

Taking simple steps to improve your fitness inspires people to make lifestyle changes elsewhere. This can be just walking to work, diet or playing more sport with their young families. It’s a virtuous circle, and it’s so lovely to witness the members’ progression.

If people are worried about taking the plunge, I would encourage them to just ‘have a go’ – they won’t regret it.

If you have any questions email MBA40 at