Sporting Equals Award Winner Visits Downing Street

Basketball England, winner of the Sporting Equals Sports Organisation of the Year 2023 Award, was invited by the Prime Minister’s Wife, Akshata Murty, on Friday, 10 May to showcase how basketball can shape lives to a group of schoolchildren at 10 Downing Street.

Twenty Year 9 children from Westminster City School in London and Bemrose School in Derby listened to talks by professional basketball athletes and Commonwealth Games Gold and Silver medallists Orlan Jackman and Shanice Beckford-Norton, who shared their journeys and successes and then hosted a 3×3 basketball coaching clinic outside Number 10, with skills and drills and mini games. 

The invitation was part of Ms Murty’s ‘Lessons at 10’ initiative, which brings school children from across the UK to Downing Street, with the aim of giving them an inspirational educational experience through workshops and activities, and to encourage them to love learning by hearing from people in different industries.

Basketball England won the Sporting Equals Award for Sports Organisation of the Year 2023 following their achievement of an A Grade in the Race Representation Index 2023, the first national governing body to achieve this overall average grade. This was achieved through a range of actions. Notable steps included establishing committees to hear and represent lived experiences, a 25% increase in ethnically diverse staff and a 40% increase in ethnically diverse senior leaders. By taking these steps Basketball England made clear their commitment to race equality and showing that basketball is a sport for all.

As part of the gathering, Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett spoke with the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP, calling on the Government to do more to recognise the power of basketball in uniting communities by funding it better. 

His message is that Basketball England is proud of what it’s achieving with its current Sport England investment, but imagine what it could do with even more to tackle inequalities.

  • Basketball is Britain’s joint-second most popular team sport amongst young people – after football.
  • According to Sport England’s Active Live Survey, over 344,000 adults (16+) play basketball twice a month, and nearly 1.2 million children and young people (U16) play it every week. 
  • The sport is incredibly diverse and accessible, with both genders and people from all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds playing the game.

Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy has a vision to create more equal, inclusive, and connected communities through sport and physical activity, and thus create a nation of happier, healthier and more fulfilled people. 

The four priority groups of this work, where there are deep-rooted inequalities to activity, are disability and/or people with a long-term health condition, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, women and girls and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

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