The Council’s Inspiring Young Enfield scheme has helped a leading basketball club create training and job opportunities and a home of sporting excellence for hundreds of young people.
Enfield Scorpions Basketball Club, started off with just a handful of members and has grown to host sessions for more than 300 young people and coaches.
Enfield Scorpions is supported by the Inspiring Young Enfield programme, which is an Enfield Council run project funded by £1.3 million from the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund. The aim of Inspiring Young Enfield is to help young people in the borough reach their full potential, improve social community cohesion and deliver job prospects with the help of project partners.
The club which is approaching its fourth anniversary, offers weekly basketball sessions at four locations in Enfield for young people aged five to 22 years. Many sessions are free and all are taught by fully qualified coaches, most of whom started as players with the club.
It prides itself in offering coaching opportunities, where young people can become qualified to teach basketball as a viable and long-term vocation. Their 11th young person has recently become a qualified coach. Additionally, their programme offers support in all aspects of its members’ lives such as self-esteem issues, educational advice and mentoring.
Club Manager and Mentor, Hannah Robson, said: “Over the last three years or so we have been raising the level of basketball in Enfield, making it a place for high-level excellence and competition. But our door is also open for those who want to train, to socialise and find a place within our community, regardless of their ability, background or financial situation.
“We have grown from six children to having 308 players, an elite academy and eleven qualified coaches. Most recently we’ve had two youngsters selected to attend Basketball England’s Young Talent Aspire programme, and have progressed through to the second round, which shows the level of excellence we can achieve at Enfield Scorpions with the correct enthusiasm, passion and of course, funding.”
One of the club’s coaches, Damian Kurczewski, said: “The club is an amazing getaway for the young people and it keeps them busy, progressing as students of the sport however, the most impressive thing for me is seeing young people beat their doubts and grow their confidence.
“I’ve never had a day I didn’t want to coach because not only is it fun for the kids but it’s also for me too. We’re all a family at Enfield Scorpions and every session is like a family gathering.”
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Mahtab Uddin, said: “We know that many young people have a willingness and a drive for self-improvement.
“They want to be involved in their local community and have access to jobs and careers. Inspiring Young Enfield provides that important link between young people and delivery partners, making projects, activities and mentoring easily accessible, improving prospects and positively changing lives.”
To find out what programmes are being delivered by the Inspiring Young Enfield providers, follow the Youth Enfield Instagram account, @Youth_Enfield. Providers interested in getting involved can also use Youth Bubble portal to put themselves forward to host activities for young people.