In this edition of the Building Stronger Communities blog we’re shifting our focus to Basketball4All, a charity that works with local schools to help support disadvantaged and disabled young people.
We try to work with inactive teens...who've just dropped off the radar from taking part in physical activity because they couldn't go to places and play. The agreement is that they have to be in school to actually be able to attend sessions. A lot of them are boys that never came to school, but they are coming to school now and this is what's so amazing. It is making a huge difference. We are very grateful to Ring for giving us the opportunity to launch this project.
Bridget - Trustee | Basketball4All
Basketball4All works tirelessly to incentivise young people to attend school and improve their education through regular structured basketball coaching sessions. These free sessions are scheduled before the start of the school day and straight after lessons end so access to them is dependent on school attendance.
If they’ve got a 7.30 session in the morning it means they can’t be late for school. And then obviously it’s also shown them a bit of discipline. Working with the coaches means that they’ve been having to train three or four times a week, have to bring their kit, have to organise themselves and it’s skills they can take into later life.
Max - Head of Sport | Oasis Shirley Park
The success of the scheme has led to a rapid expansion that has taken Basketball4All beyond the boundaries of Surrey, to schools in South East London, Kent, Sussex, North East Hampshire and East Berkshire. Working with those local schools, Basketball4All is inspiring disadvantaged young people and giving them a productive focus that results in higher school attendance. With inclusivity at the heart of everything they do, Basketball4All is open to children of all ages and abilities along with those with Learning Disabilities and Displaced young people.
Basketball4All in our school is everyone having an opportunity to play some basketball regardless of their ability, their previous experience of the sport. So we kind of have run the basketball alongside their school studies as well.
Max - Head of Sport | Oasis Shirley Park
Going from strength to strength, Basketball4All has also been able to fund and host one-off events which have seen groups of young people attending professional coaching sessions. During the sessions, the participants had the opportunity to speak with professional basketball players, including a former Great Britain player. This particular player had been able to use basketball as a route to study at an American college, furthering his studies and allowing him to compete at international level. His story underlined the importance of continuing education as a route into the sport and stood as an example to the young people attending the event.
The team at Basketball4All and the school staff they work with, not only provide an opportunity for kids from difficult backgrounds to find a focus, they have also become important role models and mentors. As important figures in the lives of young people, they have been able to inspire a spirit of companionship that has strengthened bonds, created new friends and fostered a strong sense of teamwork.
I think they’ve definitely bought into the team philosophy of ”teamwork makes the dream work“, everybody together for a common goal. They’re a lot more respectful. They’re growing up and maturing through the sport.
Rhys - Coach | Basketball4All
This sense of team spirit, nurtured by Basketball4All, has helped to develop bonds within the community and motivate local pupils to continue their education. Inspired by role models at Basketball4All, they are now surpassing expectations. Along with greater attendance, their teachers and the staff at Basketball4All are seeing a positive change in their attitude, with a greater commitment to their schoolwork and treating each other with more respect. Having had the funding from Ring to run the pilot project, sessions will be continuing in the new term and are increasing to include evening sessions as well, to keep pupils off the streets and out of trouble. This has been welcomed by the Metropolitan Police Youth Engagement team.
Basketball4All is also involved with the local community and the Council to try to get an outdoor basketball court in the park next door to the school refurbished so chances to play will be expanded greatly. At Ring, we’re equally inspired by the work that Basketball4All does and are thrilled to be able to showcase their work here. It's exactly this kind of community minded project that makes our connection with Sported relevant to our mission.
Learn more about the organisations we work with here: