Four friends are flying high after their campaign to get new basketball courts for Yateley proved a slam dunk success.

Year 11 Yateley School pupils Michael Chacko, Ben Leeson, James Short and Jonathan Short leapt into action after deciding the town’s youth needed a place to play.

“The nearest outdoor court for us to play on was a 40 minute walk to Sandhurst and the local indoor courts cost £50 to play on,” said Michael.

“As the local member of Youth Parliament I understood the importance of improving sports facilities in the community and this issue is what I got elected into in the first place.

“We wanted to make a difference for the younger generation to come and we realised that a project like this would do just that.”

The friends set up a presentation to show their headteacher in a bid to be allowed to distribute a petition around the school to prove how popular the courts would be.

Tennis courts at Yateley Green - Year 11 pupils from Yateley School have successfully campaigned to get new basketball nets and markings installed. Group pic names: Ben Leeson, Michael Chacko & James Short (his brother Jonathan also campaigned but couldn't make the photo). GL

They also set up a Facebook page, which gained 130 likes in 24 hours. After collecting around 250 signatures, the friends approached the town council for support.

“At first we thought of building a stand alone court but the issues of protected land in the Yateley area was one of many drawbacks,” said Michael.

So instead, the friends negotiated a deal to renovate the existing tennis courts to allow the tennis nets to keep functioning and giving them two separate basketball courts instead of one.

They then presented the idea to the town council in a bid to get the funding needed to complete the project.

“We spoke passionately about our love for the game and the immediate need for improved facilities in the area,” said Michael.

“The council were very enthusiastic about the idea and they gave us the full permission to go ahead.”