With £1000 from Sports Relief Community Cash, the Leicester Riders Foundation was able to run fifty-two hours of Walking Basketball sessions for those who love the game but cannot play the running version. The funding covered venue hire, coaching and mentoring, allowing people’s physical and mental health to advance significantly.
Of over sixty five participants, the majority were over forty, and a growing number of female players and spectators also participated as the sessions progressed. They also attracted experienced players unable to play the running version any longer, yet who still love the game and could bring their expertise to help the novices. Subsequently the team were crowned National Champions in a tournament.
The project has seen people come to try the sport and fall in love with it, physically and mentally enabling those who wouldn’t partake in sport at all previously. Socially, the benefits have also been tremendous, with participants staying after sessions for a drink and a chat, improving their social skills, their confidence and ultimately their mental health. This is why the Leicester Riders Foundation looks to expand the initiative, reaching places further than the city centre to help more people in similar situations.
The one and a half hour sessions allow adults to remain fit and healthy whilst refraining from strenuous exercise which may do them more harm than good. One of the participants, Rob , said: “Wednesday evening Walking Basketball is a fun, social way to keep fit. It allows me, at the age of forty-six, to play a game I love without the fear of doing myself serious injury. Every week I get to play on the same court as the one I watch the Leicester Riders on at the weekend. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve played before or not. Everyone is welcome.”
For information on the range of grants programmes we manage, or to set up your own fund with us please contact Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4916.