LRF host Summer Camp Series

This summer the Leicester Riders Foundation will be hosting 4 camps in 4 different locations across Leicestershire over the months of July and August.

All camps are open to participants of all abilities, beginner to intermediate, providing opportunities for players to develop their game in a fun and safe environment with Leicester Riders Foundation community coaches.

LRF Beaumont Leys Summer Camp

Beaumont Leys School, Anstey Lane, Leicester, LE4 0FL

25th – 28th July, 10am – 4pm

8 – 16 years old

£20 per day / £60 all four days

Click here to book!

LRF Beauchamp Summer Camp

Beauchamp College, Ridge Way, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 5TP

1st – 5th August, 10am – 4pm

8 – 16 years old
£20 per day / £75 all week

Click here to book!

LRF All Saints Mini Camp

All Saints C of E Primary School, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3LB

10th – 12th August, 10am – 1pm

7 – 11 years old
£22 all three days

Click here to book!

LRF Morningside Arena Summer Camp 

15th – 17th August, 10am – 4pm

8 – 16 years old
£20 per day / £45 all three days

Click here to book!

British Basketball League Launches League Ambassadors programme

Campaign will target 1,000 schools and inspire 150,000 young people across the UK to get involved with sport in their local communities. 

The British Basketball League has today launched its Ambassadors programme, which will see players and staff across the league promote the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle to thousands of school children in local communities across the UK.

The project has been launched as part of the BBL’s ‘Inspires’ initiative, where key members of each of the league’s 10 clubs will visit schools in their local community to tell their stories about their pathway to becoming a professional athlete.

There will be an emphasis on how participating in sports like basketball benefits youngsters’ physical health but also the positive influence it has on their mental health. The sessions will also highlight how sport plays a role in tackling various societal issues and how the next generation hold the power to be trailblazers for social change. 

Some of the key topics covered in the sessions will include; their personal career journeys, the importance of sport and education as well as the benefits of being physically active. Maintaining good mental health will also be emphasised and players will discuss the importance of being respectful and understanding of societal differences. Above all, the club ambassadors will look to inspire the next generation of young people within their respective communities. 

Players from across both the BBL and WBBL (Women’s British Basketball League) will lead the sessions when they launch across their local communities later this month. Students will get the opportunity to ask the players questions and learn more about what it takes to be a professional athlete both on and off the court.

The campaign, which has been funded and backed by Sport England in partnership with the Basketball Foundation, will see the BBL and WBBL clubs’ visit over 1000 schools and deliver school assembly sessions to 150,000 students nationwide.

The Leicester Riders Foundation will be attending a number of schools in the Leicestershire area to deliver sessions in school assemblies, where they will speak to students about some of the key topics surrounding the Ambassadors programme, the importance of a good education and how sport plays a huge part in physical and mental wellbeing.

Basketball remains the third most played team sport across the country, with 1.2 million people picking up a basketball each week, 80% of which are aged 16-34. Basketball continues to be at the heart of local communities too with 900,000 under 16s participating each week, making the sport the second most popular with 14–16-year-olds in the UK.  Additionally, The BBL is one the most culturally diverse leagues in world sport, with 70% of its players coming from ethnic minority backgrounds. However, with 13% of Brits (5.4 million) believing their ethnicity and/or culture is not represented by sporting icons around today, the campaign aims to give students role models from the league who can inspire them to get involved and actively pursue opportunities within sport and education. 

Speaking around the launch of the campaign, Chief Operating Officer at the British Basketball League, Andy Webb, said: “We’re really proud to be launching the Ambassadors programme with the support of the clubs competing in the BBL alongside their WBBL counterparts. I’d like to thank Sport England, the Basketball Foundation and everyone across the league who has been involved in setting up this programme that will benefit thousands of youngsters across the country. 

He added: “Basketball in the UK has the power to inspire the next generation and our league is very fortunate to have so many role models that young people look up to and aspire to be. Our clubs already do a great deal of work in their local communities to address a range of societal issues and we look forward to seeing the impact the sessions have as they begin to take place over the coming weeks.”

Phil Smith at Sport England said: “It’s great to see this programme launch. We all know the physical and mental benefits of being active, and how much value there is in being part of a team. We think that athletes can inspire young people to enjoy sport. It’s vital that role models are representative of communities so that young people can see themselves reflected in sport at all levels of the game. The BBL Ambassadors Programme will help to bridge that gap and inspire the next generation of young players”

Following today’s launch, the BBLs clubs will head into local schools and start delivering the inspiring and thought-provoking sessions. To keep up to date and to find out more visit www.bblinspires.co.uk.

About the British Basketball League and BBL Inspires:

The British Basketball League (BBL) has been at the pinnacle of British hoops since its inception in 1987 and represents the highest level of the professional game in the UK.

The League has a colourful history that spans over 30 years including great teams, dynasties, memorable moments, and unforgettable players and coaches. 

There are currently 10 franchises in the League. All clubs are equal shareholders in the League with a separate independent Management Board overseeing implementation of the Business Plan and day to day running of the League.

The current franchises are:

– Bristol Flyers

– Cheshire Phoenix

– Glen Luss Glasgow Rocks

–  Leicester Riders

– London Lions

– Manchester Giants

–  Newcastle Eagles

–  Plymouth City Patriots

–  B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

–  Surrey Scorchers

BBL clubs are increasingly built on the foundations of strong community programmes. Whilst providing positive role models for young people, clubs are also actively involved in developing the next generation of British basketball players and promoting the sport, and associated healthy lifestyles, to young people in their localities.

About Sport England:

Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.

It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.

Award-Winning Foundation Coaches.

We’re proud to announce,  Coach Karen Burton has been selected for Hoopsfix All-Star Classic 2022 Head Coach whilst Academy and Community Coach Keenan Thomas has won Coach of the Year in the Loughborough College Sports Awards.

May Bank Holiday Camp!

Get yourself ready for the LRF Camp!

The Leicester Riders Foundation will be running a May Camp at the home of the Leicester Riders, Morningside Arena.

Book before the 26th of May 2022 and get 10% off! Use code: EARLYMAY

The camp is available to participants of all abilities, beginner to intermediate, ages 8 – 16, providing opportunities for players to develop their game in a fun and safe environment with Leicester Riders Foundation community coaches.

Please bring plenty of water and a packed lunch with you on the day.

  • Individual day tickets are available at £20 a day
  • Full access (all three days) tickets are available at £45
  • Dates 30th May – 1st June 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Entry from 9:50 AM
  • Departure 3:55 PM
  • Morningside Arena 31 Charter Street Leicester, LE1 3UD
Riders Under 14s reach the Final Fours.

Riders U14s have reached the Final Fours after their debut season was postponed due to COVID 19. Here is what player Kyrah Johnson and Head CoachMatt Barwell had to say about their achievement.

“Reaching the finals means more than I can put into words. The stress that Covid brought to our team is crazy as it canceled our debut season not once but twice. But this group got through it together, WhatsApping and Facetiming when we trained at home and meeting up to train outside in all weathers. Going through this made us not just a team but a group of friends first, and you can see that togetherness in how we play on the court.”

Kyrah Johnson, #14

To win the league in our debut season was unbelievable enough, but progressing through the play-offs and reaching the Final Fours is beyond anything we could have ever dreamt of. It’s nothing that these girls don’t deserve though – their dedication and determination has never wavered since we set up our Girls Academy pre-pandemic and they’re now reaping the benefits of all that hard work. I feel incredibly privileged to have coached these girls throughout this journey and, whatever happens, this weekend, I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them.

Matt Barwell, Head Coach

Charity game at Morningside Arena for Andi Peel

Morningside Arena will host a basketball game to raise money for research into brain tumours as a local player battles the disease. 

Andi Peel, 30, from Groby, Leicestershire, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in January 2020.

The otherwise fit and healthy Carphone Warehouse manager suddenly started getting strong headaches in August 2019. By January 2020, his headaches became so severe that he had to pull over when driving. On 20 January, he went to Leicester Royal Infirmary and had an MRI scan, which revealed a mass on his brain.

Ross Bland, 34, who has known Andi for 15 years, said: “When I was told he had a GBM, it completely crushed me because I knew the prognosis is not good.

“It was devastating because he’s like my little brother. We met through basketball and we’ve played in many teams together, and we created our own successful team, ‘Ferndale Fury’, together in 2013.

“Andi’s brain tumour has taken over everything. It’s horrible to watch the way he has declined because of it.”

Andi had the tumour removed at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Ross, a product manager, has brought together friends and players from across the basketball leagues who are connected to Andi through the sport. Proceeds from the game on 17 April will go to the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The game will take place at the Morningside Arena, and afterwards, the Leicester Riders will play against the London Lions in the British Basketball League (BBL).

Ross said: “It’s going to be incredible and big thanks go to the Leicester Riders. Everyone’s come together, and it’s all through Andi and basketball.

“Brain tumours are hugely underfunded and more needs to be done. Brain Tumour Research is important to me and I want to do everything I can for them.

“Andi’s been involved in organising the event, and it’s given him a new lease of life.

“We may be too late to save Andi, but we want to help others avoid what he’s going through.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK singularly focused on finding a cure for brain tumours through campaigning for an increase in the national investment into research to £35 million per year. It is also fundraising to create a sustainable network of brain tumour research centres in the UK. 

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research said: “We’re really grateful to Ross, Andi, Leicester Riders, and the basketball community as it’s only with the support of people like them that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Andi who are forced to fight this awful disease.

“Unlike many other cancers, brain tumours are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone at any time. Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK. It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

Donate here

Basketball Stands Together

BBL and WBBL clubs unite to show solidarity in support of Ukraine.

The British Basketball League (BBL) and its 23 Men’s and Women’s clubs will stand together over the next five days in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, showing support at all matches from March 4th-9th.

The thoughts of the British Basketball community are with all of those who have been impacted by the Russian’s invasion of the Ukraine and we unequivocally reject Russia’s actions and wish to show our support for the people of Ukraine

As such the BBL’s Men’s and Women’s teams will all take part in 24 seconds of reflection and a show of solidarity before tip-off at each game between March 4th-9th. 

Clubs will also show the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag with the wording ‘Basketball Stands Together’ on screens at their arenas.

This message of solidarity will also be visible to the BBL’s global fanbase across our digital channels, as logos and profiles on those platforms will change to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Foundation set to lead PL Kicks sessions

Over the coming months, the Leicester Riders Foundation will lead a number of Premier League Kicks sessions in partnership with Leicester City Football Club.

The free basketball sessions will be held for young people coming from underprivileged areas, and people who may not have this kind of opportunity elsewhere.

The Foundation will host four sessions, with the aim of getting more young people engaged in basketball. The coaches will be aiming at getting everyone involved and having fun, and trying to build a community feel amongst the group.

Attendees will be taught by the foundation’s basketball coaches, who will teach basic skills, leading into some gameplay.

The sessions are part of the Foundation’s aims to promote basketball to people across Leicester and Leicestershire, regardless of prior experience.

Book on our February Half Term Camp

You can now book on our February Half Term Camp!

The camp takes place between the 14th and 17th of February, and is held from 10pm to 4pm.

The camp is held at the Morningside Arena, and is open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 16, regardless of basketball experience and ability.

The cost is £20 per day, and there is a reduction to £65 for the full four days.

Alex to continue journey in the US

Alex, who has been at the academy since 2016, has left the Leicester Riders to move to America, where he will continue his basketball journey.

Alex has shown great commitment in his time with the Riders, playing for our U12 and U14 teams, as well as participating in our community sessions. He has always given 100% effort, and both coaches and players have voiced how Alex made a real impact both on and off the court.

He will now continue his basketball journey in America, and although he will be greatly missed by everyone within the Riders Family, we wish him nothing but success in with his future both on and off the court in America.

Coach Dom said: “Having coached Alex over the past four years it has been great to watch him develop not only as a basketball player but also as a person. Alex has been a significant contributor on every team at various age groups. He was in the first team I coached, and althoughwe are sad to see him leave the club, we are excited for the adventure that Alex and his family are embarking on moving to the USA. We wish Alex and his family the best of luck.”

Foundation leads REMIT session

Leicester Riders Foundation have led a session for the REMIT group as part of the United Leicester partnership.

The session, aimed at improving wellbeing, saw the group take a walk Abby Park, alongside Riders coaches Dom and Aaran, before stopping for refreshments. 

The session, which will now be held weekly, is aimed at helping the attendees to relax, get to know one-another, make the most of the fresh air, and feel free to talk about any issues they may be facing. In future the sessions may be paired with a sports session after.

The activity is part of the Leicester Riders Foundation’s work within the United Leicester Partnership, part of which is to provide weekly activities to help support adults with their mental and physical wellbeing.

Leicester Riders U14 Girls flying high

Leicester Riders 80 – Milton Keynes 54

Leicester Riders U14 Girls are flying high in their league this season. Having finally been able to enter into their first competitive season, all their hard work and enthusiasm over the last few years is truly reaping its rewards. Sunday saw them take on Milton Keynes Basketball Club who are also new to Basketball England National League and were also 4 & 0 for the season so far.

The top of the league clash provided a scintillating first quarter where the lead swapped hands numerous times, but ended 18 -14 to the Riders. Coach Barwell kept his calm and rotated his players which made the difference as they went in 38 – 22 at the half. The game was competitive all the way through but the strength in depth of Riders squad proved to be a decisive factor with Milton Keynes tiring with only having eight players.


Coach Barwell had this to say:
“Today’s game felt like the culmination of three years of hard work for a group who have had their first season cancelled not once but twice. When we set up the girls’ programme in 2019, the dream was just to one day be able to compete in the NBL and the results so far in our debut season are beyond
anything that we could have imagined.

I’m lucky to have a squad with such depth of talent as we’ve already had 18 different girls compete for us in the league this year. You could see that strength in depth was the key difference betweenthe teams today and I’m extremely proud of the bench for coming in and executing just as well as
our starters did. Every game, those players not selected have still been travelling to support their teammates and the support of parents and family members has been incredible too. I feel really fortunate to coach this team and we’ll be working hard to continue the great progress that we’ve made so far.

Foundation launches ‘Give To Local’ fundraiser

The Leicester Riders Foundation has launched a Give To Local Hardship fundraiser in an effort to raise £4,000 to increase its reach in promoting basketball in the community. 

The aim is to raise money that can help us to support families who have been hit hard by the pandemic and break down barriers to get more people into basketball. 

Currently, the Foundation holds sessions for anyone between the ages of 4 and 17 and has links to a number of schools throughout Leicester and Leicestershire. 

The Foundation also works to bring the game to those who may not have access to it otherwise, such as working with Menphys, a charity for young people who suffer from learning difficulties. 

We have also worked with Leicester City Council, as part of their Adult skills and learning programme, which supports adults suffering from severe mental health difficulties.

Those groups, as with all community sessions held by the Riders Foundation, are totally inclusive, and cater to people regardless of age, gender, or basketball ability. 

Our aim now is to increase our reach into the community and open the game up to even more people who may not have experienced basketball before, and may not have had too many opportunities to get involved in sport in general. 

Tracey Stephenson, whose daughter Ruby is a member of the Under 14s girls’ side, and whose business Dura Sport sponsor the kit, said: “She already loved playing basketball and was successful in gaining a place in the Leicester Riders Girls Academy in 2019. Basketball has been a huge part of our lives ever since.

“It quickly became apparent to us what fantastic work the Leicester Riders Foundation does in the local community. The sessions, camps and events that the Foundation provides are fantastic and so important for both physical and mental health.

“We love being part of the Riders family and the work that the Leicester Riders Foundation does is invaluable. The Give to Local scheme is the perfect opportunity for businesses to support the charity arm of their local club in a way that’s both affordable and beneficial and with donors benefiting from some great discounts and offers.”

All of the Riders Foundation sessions are led by our expert Community Coaches, all of whom are passionate about their work, and getting people involved in sport.

One of these is Dominic McDonaugh, who is also a Leicester Riders Foundation Project Officer, and the Head Coach of the Under 16 side. He said: “As a community coach the junior academy is a great tool to help to inspire young people to become more involved with the club and to continue to encourage their basketball development. By utilising our community arena sessions, we have a stepping stone pathway that young people interested in basketball can follow.

“However, even though we have seen great growth we are still limited in our capacity and resource and cannot provide all the basketball provisions for the community that we would like. However, through the support from local donors and businesses facilitated by Give to Local, we are extremely excited to be able to enhance our current provisions and expand them further into areas of the community where we are currently less active.”

If you are a business, you can sponsor us from as little as £10 a month. This will also allow you to offer discounts to customers for your own business, and help you attract customers. 

Individuals can support us for as little as £3, either as a one-off payment, or as a monthly donation. 

You can donate by clicking here!

Thank you for all your support!

To learn more about our ‘Give to Local’ fundraiser, you can email [email protected]

Foundation hosts Primary Schools Tournament

On Monday, the Foundation hosted the Primary Schools Tournament at the Morningside Arena. 

The event was held for Year 5 and 6 students at Taylor Road, Richard Hill, St Mary’s, Fosse Mead and Hope Hamilton School, who bought two sides, all schools across Leicester. 

The tournament was played in a round robin format, with all teams coming up against each other once, with the team with the most points at the end of the day taking the title.

All teams gave their all throughout the day, with the red team from Hamilton Hope emerging victorious, closely followed by those from Taylor Road.

Jim Smith, a teacher from Richard Hill, said: “It’s a great opportunity for all of them. Obviously, we didn’t get to do this sort of thing last year, but it’s good to get back out, especially at such a great venue.

“None of them have actually played basketball competitively before, so it’s good to see them enjoying it and having smiles on their faces.”

Now that everything is back up and running after lockdown, this is an event that we hope to hold at the Morningside Arena every year, continuing to promote basketball to young people across Leicestershire.

NCS Changemakers raise money for Help the Homeless

On Friday night 27 volunteers on the NCS Changemakers programme attended the Riders game against Glasgow Rocks to raise money for Help the Homeless.

They collected £107 for Help the Homeless, before volunteering at the match and watching the Riders defeat the Rocks in an entertaining match at the Morningside Arena.

Leading the NCS sessions is part of the Riders Foundation’s wider aim to promote and deliver programmes that promote health and wellbeing, and develop and inspire volunteers. 

To get involved, or find out more about our NCS programmes, email [email protected]

Foundation leads college NCS group

This week, Leicester Riders Foundation have been leading an NCS session for special educational needs students from college. 

The course, which is part of the Foundation’s community action group, has helped offer students access to a number of activities that they otherwise wouldn’t have exposure to.

Over the course of last fortnight, the students, from the Foundation Studies group at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, have taken part in activities such as abseiling, archery, rifle shooting and fencing.

On Wednesday and Thursday, they were at an allotment in Leicester, picking apples and planting onions.

All students have individual targets, though the NCS programme helps to develop teamwork amongst the group, as well as aiming to help their mental health and confidence, and giving them a sense of achievement.

NCS Team Leader Richard Jones said: “The most rewarding part about it is seeing that the students can achieve anything they put their mind to, and seeing them express themselves, and bringing out their potential.

“They are a really great group, they get stuck in, and they really seem to be enjoying themselves.”

Taking NCS sessions is part of the Foundation’s targets to work within the local community and deliver programmes that promote health and wellbeing.

To get involved, or find out more about our NCS programmes, email [email protected]

Foundation leads Menphys basketball session

On Friday evening, Leicester Riders Foundation led a coaching session for Leicestershire charity Menphys.

The session was part of a weekly one led by the Riders Foundation, for people between the ages of 12 and 25 with learning difficulties. This week, there were eight young people there learning the basics of basketball.

The group, hosted at The Menphys Hub in Leicester, allows the participants to get involved in group activity based around sport.

The course is inclusive to anyone in that age group, regardless of basketball ability, or having any experience of playing sport. The hope is to get them into sport and engaging in enjoyable exercise and returning week-on-week.

The interaction and teamwork is aimed at helping bring them out of their shells, and currently the majority of participants are returning each week.

Riders Foundation coach Dominic McDonaugh said: “They get an outlet that’s enjoyable, that gives them the opportunity to do something different, and give them a provision to something they don’t usually get. 

“I enjoy the session, I find it rewarding and hopefully they all enjoy it.”

The course is part of the Leicester Riders Foundation’s aims to promote and engage through basketball across Leicestershire.

To find out more about the Leicester Riders Foundation’s inclusion projects, email [email protected]

Foundation delivers basketball session for REMIT

On Thursday, two coaches from the Riders Foundation led a coaching session for adults on Leicester City Council’s Adult skills and learning programme.

The 12-week course is for adults on the REMIT programme- a community education programme for adults with mental health difficulties. The course allows the adults to work on a range of skills across a number of sports. 

The course offers a safe space for those suffering from mental health difficulties, many of whom have also struggled with the isolation and loneliness bought on by lockdown, while others have to deal with being full-time carers as well. 

The course is inclusive for all, regardless of age and background, with the ages ranging from people in their 20s, to those in their 70s. The sessions are focussed on getting them to enjoy sport, exercising, communicating and interacting with others. 

On Thursday, they were working on various skills in basketball, including passing, dribbling and shooting. The course accommodates for those with all level of skills, including those who have never played basketball, or any form of sport before. 

The session also features parts of competition, keeping everyone engaged and involved in what is going on. 

The course is part of the Leicester Riders Foundation’s aim to offer opportunities to all, and promote and deliver sustainable programmes that promote health and well-being. 

To find out more about the Leicester Riders Foundation’s inclusion projects, email [email protected]

Riders Foundation hosts teacher networking event

On Friday night, the Leicester Riders Foundation held an event for teachers prior to the Riders’ fixture against Cheshire Phoenix.

The event was attended by 40 teachers from schools, colleges and community organisations. It was an opportunity to network, and learn about the work done by the Riders Foundation, and how they could get involved.

The teachers then stayed on to watch the Riders defeat the Phoenix 94-72 in a thrilling game in the BBL Championship. 

Jo Bradley, who attended the event, said: “Thank you so much for a great teacher event and looking after us. Found out so much about the amazing schools and community work that Leicester Riders Foundation are doing.”

The Riders Foundation aims to promote basketball across Leicestershire, and through working in schools, we aim to reach as many young people as possible. 

To learn more about our work in schools, contact [email protected]