24th April 2019: Basketball England has announced the launch of Slam Jam, a revolutionary new grassroots basketball programme which aims to introduce the sport to primary school aged children across the country.
Slam Jam, which has been created in partnership by basketball and educational experts, is a landmark programme for Basketball England, representing a notable investment into the grassroots level of the game.
Slam Jam will be delivered in both school and community locations with fun-filled sessions lasting between 45-60 minutes. Running for six to twelve weeks, it has been designed to provide children with their first experience of basketball and an achievable timescale to develop all the basic skills and techniques to both understand and enjoy the game. With minimal equipment required (basketballs, bibs, cones), the programme can also be delivered almost anywhere.
Targeted specifically at 7-11-year olds, children have been involved in every part of Slam Jam’s design, from choosing the mascots / characters to developing the games and drills which form the sessions.
Mike Diaper, Director of Children and Young People at Sport England stated: “ We know that enjoyment is an essential ingredient in getting more children active, and ensuring they stay active into adult life. And that’s where Basketball can really shine. A quarter of children in England do not get the recommend levels of activity – that means we need to we find new ways of supporting these youngsters to get active. Slam Jam has the potential to do just that by ensuring the 7-11 year olds attending these sessions have early experiences of sport that are positive and packed full of fun.”
Over 1,000 children have already enjoyed the benefits of Slam Jam during a pilot period earlier this year, with 97% of participants saying they want to continue playing the game. Basketball England is aiming to introduce 180,000 new children to basketball through the programme.
Slam Jam forms a key part of Basketball England’s strategic plan to deliver a successful and sustainable future for the sport – ‘Growing BasketbALL TOGETHER’. Young people and children are at the heart of the plan with a key focus on delivering accessible and positive basketball experiences from a young age through the recruitment of first-class coaches and officials.
The launch of Slam Jam is extremely topical, following research released last month by Sport England* into the key motivating factors of children’s physical activity. Their research found that children’s activity levels increase if they are having fun, with children who are physically literate doing twice as much activity as those who are not.
The Slam Jam programme, which supports the government’s ongoing drive to increase the importance placed on physical exercise within primary schools, is set to be available across the country from May.
Stewart Kellett, Basketball England CEO commented: “We’re delighted to launch what we believe is a huge step forward for the future of basketball in England. We’re proud that basketball is one of the most accessible sports in England and Slam Jam will help us reach a significant number of children who are yet to play basketball. Enjoyment should be at the heart of any playing experience and therefore we’ve ensured that the children themselves have been involved in its creation. This goes beyond any participation programme we’ve done before and we’re looking forward to creating some life-long players and fans of basketball.”
THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING BASKETBALL
Utilising the skills and knowledge from top experts, Slam Jam provides children with the opportunity to enjoy the social, physical and mental health benefits of playing basketball.
One of the key elements of basketball children will learn is the importance of teamwork. The strong team spirit found on the basketball court offers new participants a positive and supportive environment to build their confidence and skills in the sport.
Slam Jam aims to improve children’s physical literacy, teaching core skills like catching, throwing, running and jumping. The active nature of basketball, which requires constant movement and running, will help children to maintain the recommended levels of physical activity.
Children should also experience an increased ability to concentrate as they are challenged to stay focused during the Slam Jam sessions.
Current Team England Point Guard, Georgia Jones praised Slam Jam saying: “Slam Jam offers those that are not already part of the basketball family the opportunity to pick up a ball and begin to learn the skills involved in our fantastic sport. The most important thing to remember about basketball is that it is fun, Slam Jam makes the most of this through enjoyable and engaging sessions that will help children fall in love with the sport and hopefully encourage them to find and join their local basketball club.”
FIND OUT MORE
To find your local Slam Jam programme or if you are keen to become a Slam Jam delivery partner, follow the link below. You will be required to complete a readiness for delivery form and also undertake a Slam Jam activator course which will help the coach deliver an exciting, enjoyable and engaging session to all participants.