Basketball England and Walking Basketball UK have agreed a partnership to pilot the upscaling of Walking Basketball across ten sites in England.
Walking Basketball is an activity that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their age of physical ability, and the partnership, initially for six months, will see Basketball England commissioning Walking Basketball UK to launch ten new Walking Basketball clubs with the ambition of encouraging 300 new players to the game of Walking Basketball.
As part of the joint project, Basketball England staff will work with Walking Basketball UK to upgrade the Walking Basketball Activators Award, identify training requirements for referees and officials and to review the rules of Walking Basketball and present them to the Basketball England board for adoption by the governing body.
The project will conclude with a national festival of Walking Basketball and will be evaluated throughout to give both organisations valuable insight into Walking Basketball players - to help inform plans and applications for funding to further grow Walking Basketball.
"We’re very pleased to have signed a formal partnership with Walking Basketball and to be moving forward with this project” said David Butler, Basketball England’s Delivery Director. “Having a form of basketball that is more accessible to participants who find that they are unable to keep up with the pace of the traditional game is important as we strive to keep the sport accessible to as many people as possible."
“We’ve been in discussions with Walking Basketball for some time and looked at a number of ways that we can work together to upscale the game and are looking forward to building a long term partnership over time to grow this discipline of the game.”
Walking Basketball UK, who have been organising sessions across the country since 2013, will launch new opportunities for elderly adults who are currently inactive to play in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Kent, Leicester, Liverpool and Sheffield with the focus on the larger, city locations to appeal to the most number of people.
“Walking Basketball started with Basketball England, ‘Ball Again’ funding in 2013,” explained Bridget Hayward, Walking Basketball UK Director.
“It was aimed at Over 50's participants, but since then we have diversified into using the project for the inactive of all ages, families, and people in rehab. It is a great activity to improve people's mental and physical well-being and a place people can make friends. We have run tournaments and developed an Activators course for coaches who would like to run sessions. Walking Basketball is a great addition to clubs at all levels as it encourages more people to become involved with the club either as volunteers or as fans.
“We are delighted to be working with Basketball England in this exciting partnership and hope it will enable us to establish many more Walking Basketball sessions across the country in the future.”
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