“Some of you may know that I have a son, Peter. However, I don't think you know that I once had a daughter.” Mrs Flowers reached into her handbag and pulled out a handkerchief. She blew her nose loudly before continuing. “Pauline was fifteen when she died. The doctors said she was lucky to live so long. She had problems with her heart all her life. But that didn't stop her living life to the full.”
The committee listened in complete silence.
“Her first and only love was basketball. She played it every day. She watched videos of all her favourite teams. She even slept with a basketball in her arms!” Mrs Flowers paused while she wiped a tear from her eye. “I was hoping that I could sponsor the women's basketball team, the Waterbridge Wildcats, in memory of Pauline Flowers. Some kind of sponsorship.”
“That's a very kind offer, Mrs Flowers. I'm sure the Wildcats will be very happy for any money your company could give.”
“Of course I will have to talk to the directors of the company. I will have to ask them very nicely but I was hoping that we could offer around twenty five thousand pounds a year.”
“Twenty five thousand pounds!” repeated the President. “That's a lot of money. Are you sure...”
“I'm sure that Pauline is watching us today. I'm sure that she is happy to see that I am supporting the sport that she loved so much.”
“Okay, girls, today I want to look at your defence. It's not bad but I think it could be better.”
Alice Brooks, coach of the Waterbridge Wildcats, took a basketball and walked onto the court. The players sat on the benches at the side. “Okay, Jenny, try and score. I'll try and stop you.”
Alice threw the ball to Jenny Hill. Jenny bounced the ball in front of her and moved slowly towards her coach. Alice put out both hands to stop Jenny moving past. Jenny continued to bounce the ball in front of her, waiting for the right moment. Suddenly she ran to the right, jumped and threw the ball coolly through the basket.