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Hoop Dreams: Sport Relief – The Difference £17 makes in Nottingham

£17 is enough to buy an hour on court, for ‘Kick and Hoop’, a Sport Relief funded project for young people in Nottingham. Today I went to watch a basketball session, with coach Tom Smith, a group of 11-17 year olds and Carl Froch MBE former professional boxer, from Nottingham.

Tom is warm, friendly and a really inspirational coach, he had me laughing and at ease immediately.  The boys clearly have a lot of respect for him, he has played basketball in 30 countries, he volunteers as a coach to give young people in the area something to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Last year Kick and Hoop – part of The Big Brother and Big Sister Project, which helps disadvantaged young people in Nottingham – was due to finish, but a grant from Sport Relief made it possible to keep it going. Tom had experimented with charging young people £1 in the past, to cover the court fee, but even a £1 was enough to stop lots of young people coming.

The young people tell me how much they get out of Tom’s coaching, it gets them out the house, off the streets and is a great way to make friends, get exercise and learn new skills. Many also play on teams, which raises the group’s aspirations.  They were all excited too, about playing with Carl Froch, a Nottingham local and retired professional boxer, Tom says ‘Carl is a great role model for young people’.

An hour with Tom looked absolutely exhausting, thrilling and was really focussed on honing top class basketball skills. That’s got to be worth a lot more than £17, it’s pretty priceless.

I love the writing on Tom’s basketball – ‘Hoop Dreams’.

The boys show off their skills with Carl.

Tom, me and some of his basketball stars.

With Tom and Carl.

Carl recorded a special message, which really sums up what a difference £17 makes here to a group of young people’s lives. You could feel it watching them play and all that positive energy comes across here too. Here’s to Hoop Dreams.

Do Yourself Proud!

With Team Honk, I’ve shown over the years what a difference Sport Relief money makes all over the world, we have raised over 80k to date. This year I have been challenged to see how many Museums in London I can get round in a day. It’s going to be a really exhausting day and I’ve been running lots to make sure I am super fit. Please sponsor me if you can.

Why not find out about your local Sport Relief event and get the whole family involved?


I'd love to know your thoughts!