The UK’s premier basketball team, the London Lions, and leading charity, Greenhouse Sports, partner to foster a new generation of basketball talent.
This partnership will use basketball as a vehicle to provide better outcomes for the children taking part in the programme who come from schools in deprived areas of London.
The London Lions, the UK’s premier professional basketball club, has partnered with Greenhouse Sports, a charity that uses sports as a vehicle to develop young lives, to provide up to 3000 children in some of the most deprived areas of London with an unprecedented pathway to a career in professional basketball – be that as a player, coach or official. Aside from providing career opportunities within the sport, the partnership will see a range of delivery in schools across the country using basketball as a vehicle to foster better health and activity levels amongst the children taking part – who come from schools in deprived areas of London.
Greenhouse Sports has long been a leading actor in the community basketball space, boasting a team of 40 full-time, qualified basketball coaches, and it stands as one of the largest independent youth basketball programs in the UK, with 22 years of experience. This partnership will see the creation of a new and improved secondary school league in London, which will not only increase participation levels, but also provide those taking part with the opportunity to be scouted and potentially one day don the iconic London Lions jersey. Together, both organisations will also collaborate on the development of an educational program for future basketball referees and table officials, offering another avenue into the professional heights of the sport outside of playing.
The partnership will also deliver a coaching programme for PE teachers across London, helping them to deliver active and engaging basketball sessions for their children. It is hoped that these improved opportunities to take part in basketball will help combat rising youth inactivity levels, with Sport England finding that 53% of children are not currently exercising for the recommended 60 minutes a day. In order to further inspire children to take part in basketball, the London Lions will grant free access for groups of children within the programme to attend world-class men’s and women’s EuroCup basketball games at their home arena of the Copperbox in Stratford, London.
This opportunity comes amidst a historic moment for UK basketball, with the London Lions men’s team becoming the first-ever UK side to qualify for the playoff rounds of the EuroCup, and the women’s team going a step further by becoming the first side from British shores to play in qualifiers for the EuroLeague – the pinnacle of basketball outside the WNBA. Also, viewership is up across the board for British basketball, with a 217% increase from last season’s viewership across YouTube and Sky Sports, showing the popularity of this sport, and how it can engage and inspire children to keep active.
This partnership will bring to life the shared vision of both Greenhouse Sports and the London Lions in terms of fostering a never-before-seen level of participation in basketball which functions as a vehicle to improve the outcomes of children who need it most.
Chris Allbut, Greenhouse Sports Director of Programmes, said:
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the London Lions and to bring the initiatives of this partnership to life. This partnership epitomises the core mission of Greenhouse Sports, which is to empower young individuals through sports and provide them with clear pathways to success. It also establishes a seamless continuum that nurtures young talent, guiding enthusiastic participants to the GBSC to further develop their skills and deepen their passion for the game.”
Vanja Cernivec, General Manager of the London Lions women’s team, said:
“We are delighted to collaborate with Greenhouse Sports to bring to life the vision we have for basketball in the UK. We believe the sport has the power to be at the forefront of tackling youth inactivity, and promoting physical and mental benefits. Moreover, we believe this partnership has tremendous potential to help improve outcomes for children in some of the most deprived areas across London by providing a clear pathway to careers within the sport. We look forward to hopefully seeing some of the next generation of London Lions stars coming from programmes just like this.”