Essex Police's 'Ballin' with a Bobby' gives young people the chance to play basketball with police officers, building positive relationships through basketball.
The initiative was started three years' ago by officers from Colchester's Community Policing Team and they have used #ProjectSwish to improve local basketball facilities across Colchester.
“We’re really pleased to be able to run Ballin’ with a Bobby for a third summer.
“We’ve seen around 150 young people from across Essex join in with the sessions, with some of them even going onto compete in national junior leagues.
“But for us, Ballin’ with a Bobby is about building positive relationships with younger members of our community. It gives us an opportunity to break down barriers between police officers and young people and challenge any preconceived opinions they may have about the police.
“We also hope that it will give young people the confidence to talk to us. Whether that’s about concerns they might have, advice on staying safe, or ask general questions about policing. We want to encourage them to make good life choices and choose to do something positive over becoming involved in crime or antisocial behaviour.”
“Basketball England is delighted to support the Ballin’ with a Bobby project again.
"It is an excellent community initiative that provides young people in Essex with the chance to take part in safe and accessible basketball As well as basketball nets, we have provided our legendary #ProjectSwish balls to be used at this year's summer sessions.
"This partnership demonstrates the clear synergy with our #ProjectSwish campaign, which is focused improving the standard of outdoor courts across the country.”
Essex Police are also working with NBL1 side Essex Rebels to offer free basketball sessions for children and young people across Colchester.
Led by top coaches from the Rebels, who are based at the University of Essex, those who come along can find out about the sport, learn the rules, and pick up new skills to take back and try out on their local courts.
“We’re really excited to be teaming up with Essex Police in Colchester again.
“It’s a great chance for us to get out into the community to introduce basketball and the Essex Rebels to young people, all for free.
“They’ll be chances to meet our players, mascot Queen B and win some Essex Rebels prizes too.”
No need to book. Come along and take part.