The Leicester Warriors, a community-led basketball club that aims to increase sports participation in the city, has secured £3,000 in funding from the Wesleyan Foundation.
The Wesleyan Foundation is managed by the Heart of England Community Foundation. The Foundation is able to use the UKCF network to spread Wesleyan’s money far and wide.
The money will be used to set up a new programme that will offer young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access to sporting facilities, equipment, and expert coaching in a safe and friendly environment.
The funding will allow the Leicester Warriors to offer an additional 40 children from deprived areas throughout Leicester the chance to attend sessions free of charge.
The Warriors work with children and teenagers from a range of different backgrounds, inviting anyone – from basketball novices to more experienced players – to get involved. Volunteers also teach members about the importance of healthy living and working together.
Karam Sandhu, one Leicester Warriors’ young stars, said:
“The challenges I have faced are like everyone else of my age, things like peer pressure. The coaches have guided me, one of them was a PE teacher at my school and put on extra training sessions to keep me on the right path.
“I’ve been able to approach the coaches with any issues I have had, and they have been very supportive. I feel the club is a critical part of Leicester and its doors are always open to anyone that wants to play, one of its aims is to get kids of the street and give them a purpose.
“One of the best benefits is integration. I have played with players from all parts of Leicester, from all religions and classes and when kids are exposed to this environment it breaks down barriers that are sometimes in society.”
It’s not just the city’s basketball that is benefitting, the club is giving its participants some great grounding for the future:
“The club has taught me leadership, how to deal with pressure and that hard work pays off, this was most telling during my GCSEs; I had to study hard. Thanks to that revision I was able to get into college!
“I would describe the club as a family, everyone looks after each other. It is very friendly. It is a fun club but also very professional.
“If you are a starter at basketball or an experienced player, Leicester Warriors is the place”
Caroline Hill, Chief People & Strategy Officer at Wesleyan said:
“This funding is providing much needed support to some of the most deprived areas in the city. It is great to be part of a process that is not only getting young people active but also improving their everyday lives.”
Tina Costello, CEO of the Heart of England Community Foundation said:
“It’s great to see the impact of the Foundation across our network and hearing about how funding is supporting so many children from deprived areas is so heartwarming.”
The Wesleyan Foundation was launched in June 2017 by specialist financial services mutual Wesleyan, administered by the Heart of England Community Foundation, and has already provided more than £1 million in funding to more than 200 charities, community groups and social enterprises around the UK.
For more information about the Wesleyan Foundation and to how to apply click here.