The British Basketball League (BBL) has become the first national professional sports organisation in the UK to launch a wellbeing hub for its community.
The pioneering platform, developed for the BBL by tech company Frog Systems, uses videos of people sharing their life experiences of issues such as depression and racism to signpost organisations and resources that offer help.
The free-to-use online BBL Community Wellness Hub was launched with the help of players Tayo Ogedengbe, Drew Lasker, and Darien Nelson-Henry who have contributed their own videos to the platform.
The BBL Community Wellness Hub, which can be accessed at www.bblinspires.co.uk, was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to the impact on the mental and physical wellbeing on communities.
It contains video clips from players and officials from clubs in the BBL sharing their experiences and highlights information and organisations where the basketball community can go to get help. Users can search for information about mental and physical wellness, diversity, equality and inclusion, and personal development and financial management. They can also look for community programmes and volunteering opportunities with the sport in their area.
The platform is the first step in a series of initiatives planned by the BBL to improve welfare provision ahead of the 2021/2022 season which are being spearheaded by former Great Britain captain Kieron Achara.
Keiron Achara said: “The BBL family have always believed that our communities are the backbone of our league and I’m proud that we are working together to amplify the amazing local support services and resources available to ensure our communities are getting the help they need.”
It is estimated that a million people play basketball in Britain every week making it the second most popular team sport in England, Scotland and Wales. All 11 BBL franchises are behind the platform and will add new supportive video content in the coming weeks and months.
Andy Webb, Chief Operating Officer of the BBL, added: “This is a proud moment for us to be the first national sports body to launch a platform like this to support our community. The past year has been tough for everyone – players, fans and administrators alike – and this puts us in a great position to move forward and make a positive difference.”
Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of the BBL, said: “Our players and coaches do a huge amount of work in their local communities. We hope the BBL Community Wellness Hub will add another layer of support by linking our thousands of fans with advice and support around the challenges they face.”
While those who use the platform cannot be identified, the anonymised data it produces will be used by the BBL to identify where it can improve the community support it offers.
Phil Worms, CEO of Frog Systems, said: “Like all sports, basketball has a duty of care to those who play, work in and support the game. We have worked closely with the BBL to produce a platform that will help them make important decisions about where they direct their support and resources in the future.”