Introduction to DCU Mercy basketball club

Mercy Basketball Club (now known as DCU Mercy) was founded in 1989.  It started initially with a group of girls from the local school in Coolock. The club was the brain-child of Mark and Annette Ingle. Mark is a well renowned coach in Irish Basketball having coached at all levels, schools, clubs, colleges and International. Mark also spent a year in Manchester coaching in the English Basketball League. He has also won Basketball Ireland’s “Coach of the Year Award” twice, Annette was involved in coaching in Scoil Catriona, Coolock and is actively involved in the club administration and coaches at the under age level in the club. The club also won the “Club of the Year Award”. 

Mercy (DCU Mercy) has had the input of many excellent coaches over the years.  As the club is at present primarily funded by the players, their families and many fund raising events, all these coaches have given of their time free of charge. 

The club at present have 13 teams entered in the Dublin leagues and they also run an underage academy. They have produced basketball players of all levels throughout the years from social, to regional level and International level. The club also has its top team playing in the Premier League and the under 18 and under 20’s teams also enter and play in the National Cup competition. 

The attitude of the club has always been athletes first, winning second. The clubs emphasis is on the development of young sports players into confident athletes. It is known that sports players develop by gaining confidence and confidence is developed through mastery and encouragement. This is the coaching philosophy of the club and the players reap the rewards both through athletic and personal development. 

It is through encouraging the children to get involved in physical activity through sport. Through physical activity these children and teenagers find an outlet from the troubles and stresses that is prevalent in todays youth. Sport can be used as a means to help young people try out life, build character and develop leadership skills. The Club does not evaluate the athletes on a win/lose basis as society does, it is here to develop the athletes physically, socially and psychologically.


Club Philosophy

The DCU Mercy basketball club philosophy

The philosophy of the club has a player-oriented coaching philosophy with each player in the club helping the other players to develop. There is a close relationship between all members of the club and the atmosphere is of friendship and camaraderie. The children follow the senior games and support the players all the way. The senior players have had an input in the development of the younger athletes through coaching, advice and support. 

The coaching philosophy in the club highlights the importance in the development of players. 

Physically: by learning sport skills, improving physical conditioning, developing good health habits and avoiding injuries

Psychologically: by learning to control their emotions and developing feelings of self-worth.

Socially: by learning co-operation in a competitive context and appropriate standards of behaviour.

It was because of the ethos of the club that we attracted the attention of DCU who were looking to get involved with a local club at ground level. We have had a strong partnership with DCU since they have come on board
— Annette Ingle (Club Secretary)

Looking to the future

Future of DCU Mercy

The future of DCU Mercy is strong, with the continued support of DCU Sport and the support of its parents, the club is building from year to year. We have had many great successes throughout the years, winning – Dublin Leagues, Dublin Cup Competition, National Cup Competition, Dublin team player, players representing Dublin in the All Irelands, representing Ireland in International competition.  Player who started in our academy, have gone on to play at the different age levels within the club.  We are also attracting players from other outlying areas and we hope to continue this. 

We have coaches in different schools throughout Dublin, Scoil Catriona, Coolock, Loreto Secondary School, Foxrock, Mercy College, Coolock, St. Colombus, Killiney. We also have coaches in DCU itself coaching their College teams.

The club hopes to continue with and extend the size and scope. The underage side of the club is developing rapidly with an increasing interest the club has been unable to provide the resources to match the demand, however, the demand is out there for expansion if the club raises the funds to supply the resources to the community.  Unfortunately, it is a shame that in a country where activity is positively associated with increase in age that we cannot accommodate players who show an interest in playing.

At present DCU Mercy is presently running in 4 different gyms and they feel that the club is in danger of losing the close friendship and camaraderie that it always encourages.  

We would, love to be able to have our own premises where we are not limited to gym time, and have looked at the costs of renting a warehouse in an industrial estate or similar. This in itself is very doable for the club, as the rent is very similar to what DCU Mercy are paying in the gyms it presently uses. This is where we would love to see the future of DCU Mercy going and we have a group of parents who are actively looking at alternative options to our present use of 4 different gyms.

DCU Mercy is approaching its 28th birthday and we would love to see it develop into our vision over the next 2 years.