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.
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.”
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.
The Leicester Riders Under 14 were beaten 43-86 by the Nottingham Hoods at the Morningside Arena on Saturday morning in the Basketball England Junior National League.
The Riders went in trailing 7-16 after a tough first quarter, but fought back to trail by just four midway through the second. However, in the few minutes before half time, the Hoods delivered a clinical display of shooting, and ended with a 23-41 advantage.
The Hoods, who have lost just once in the league this season, resumed their dominance after the break, finishing the third with a 33-68 lead. Despite the best efforts of the Riders, who showed some impressive offensive skills, the Hoods finished the game with a 43-point victory.
Coach Damon said: “I think we played good defence in the half court; we just need to improve taking care of the ball to limit there fast break opportunities. Next time we play them, it’ll be a much closer game.”
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.“
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.
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