On Wednesday, 14th December 2022, the London Lions were proud hosts of Safe Haven Basketball at the Copper Box Arena.
The organisation launched after Founder and Manager Emma Colverd returned from New York in 2016 to aid her daughter, who has learning disabilities. On her return to London, Emma was surprised to find that no basketball clubs supported people with learning disabilities. As a result, she took it upon herself to launch her own.
The club works with people aged 14-25 and has engaged with more than 10,000 disabled young people and helped to up-skill over 800 new disability-inclusive coaches and volunteers.
The clinic at the Copper Box Arena allowed the coaching staff and players to teach basketball fundamentals and play fun games. However, Safe Haven’s players gained so much more from the session.
“It’s so fun for them! It’s so life-affirming and so good for their [the Safe Haven player’s] confidence.”
Said Emma Colverd, expressing her joy at theLions-hosted clinic.
“It’s good for their sense of being part of a community, which they often don’t feel. With something like this, they feel like they belong and that they are seen."
The clinic was attended by women’s team General Manager Vanja Cernivec along with stars Shanice Beckford-Norton, Katsiaryna Snytsina, Kennedy Leonard, Kiki Herbert-Harrigan, Ty Battle, Taylor Murray, Shequila Joseph, Paulina Hersler, Chantel Charles and Azania Stewart.
Discussing the experience of working with Safe Haven Basketball, Vanja Cernivec stated:
The session was a fantastic experience for our London Lions players as for the Safe Haven athletes. It gave us the opportunity to connect through the sport we all love and share our knowledge and passion for the sport.
I want to thank Safe Haven and Emma Colverd for helping us organise the clinic and our players, who made the clinic super special with their positive energy.
London Lions are currently planning on working with Safe Haven on future projects.