With funding from William Colton Youth Sport Fund, Ball4All were able to provide a series of basketball camps to young people in a number of Rutland villages during the summer and autumn of last year. The grant enabled the company to hire venues and purchase equipment including basketballs, portable basketball hoops, bibs and T-shirts which benefited 42 children or young people and their parents.
The camps were run during the summer in order to give participants something to do instead of ‘hanging around’ in the street or getting up to mischief through boredom. The beneficiaries were from remote areas of Rutland such as Casterton, Exton, Greetham and parts of Oakham, where basketball is not readily available to young people. They proved a great success, seeing participants develop a love for the sport, form new friendships, grow in confidence and self-control whilst learning new skills in order to play as a team. Children as young as four also joined in, wanting to do get involved along with their older siblings.
The funding allowed whole families, who could not themselves afford to pay to attend the sessions, to participate, giving the parents peace of mind that their youngsters were not getting into trouble over the summer.
Due to the success of the programme, Ball4All has since launched Rutland Thunders basketball team.
Ball4All is a community interest company which offers basketball coaching to schools and colleges across Leicestershire and Rutland, delivering tailored programmes to suit the needs of the children and young people taking part. The coach, John, takes into account each individual’s experience of playing basketball when planning and preparing each session, encouraging everyone to participate no matter their ability.
Ball4All promotes the fact that basketball is not only about playing the sport but also provides positive messages to children and young people. The basketball sessions they run allow each participant to become confident whilst teaching them self-discipline, self-control and respect.
They are passionate about coaching basketball to children and young people and hope to see the next generation becoming health conscious, talented and successful sporting people.
One participant said: “I had a great time at Exton School with Ball4All and coach Big John. It was amazing to see how good he is at coaching the younger generations from age 4 to 16 and also how he changes coaching techniques depending the age and ability of the children.”