Ball & Eat Camp 2023: Holiday Basketball Masterclass returns for its Easter Edition

The London Basketball Association’s Ball & Eat camps are basketball activities hosted during the holidays and are aimed at disadvantaged young school kids across London.
During the 2023 Easter School Holidays, LBA’s popular Ball & Eat Basketball camp returned for its Easter edition, where over 40 unique participants — predominantly free school meal-eligible youth —  took part in an intense 8-day camp across two weeks delivered by qualified LBA coaches.
The young people involved took part in a series of drills, wellness and health sessions that were concluded with fun basketball games.
The LBA also provided all participants with nutritious meals during the camps, something we know is all too important in the climate of food poverty that is running rampant across disadvantaged communities in London.
These holiday camps have numerous benefits for the young people who participate as most young people involved reported a boost in their self-esteem, confidence and mental health following their participation in the camps.
Shaq, a participant in the camp, said: I go to almost all the LBA camps, spending more time with my friends, playing basketball and staying active rather than being at home is why I come here.
Shaq added: The coaches have been great and really helpful, I really like working with them.
Importantly our holiday camps provide a safe and supportive environment where young people can develop their basketball skills and build positive relationships with coaches and peers. The camps are designed to be inclusive, welcoming young people from all backgrounds, regardless of their ability level.
In addition to the benefits for young people, the LBA holiday camps also help to boost the popularity of the sport of basketball. By providing quality coaching and training opportunities, the LBA is helping to develop the next generation of basketball coaches and officials. The holiday camps also provide an opportunity for young people to stay engaged with the sport
This is aligned with our goal of qualifying more ROCs (Referees, Officials and Coaches)  in the basketball workforce, as one of the tremendous successes of our holiday camps is the ability to upscale some of our young people by giving them access to paid opportunities within the basketball industry.
For example, Nicole, an LBA-qualified coach, spoke about her journey of becoming a basketball coach and the importance of the LBA’s ROC courses in her journey to becoming a basketball coach.
Nicole said: Through the LBA, the opportunities have been non-stop.
It was only a few weeks ago when I coached a full month of basketball to young people from a prestigious school in North West London to now coaching at this fantastic holiday provision at the St Augustine Sports Centre, Nicole said.
She added: I am deeply grateful to Tony (CEO of the LBA) who provided me with this opportunity to become a qualified coach.
This is my first Ball & Eat camp and it has surpassed my expectations. The kids here have been super engaged and focused, making my life a lot easier.
We have been able to lock in and make some incredible progress this week, and there has not been one kid that has not made some improvement in some area since we began this camp.
A huge thanks to Westminster Council, the Young Westminster Foundation, John Lyon’s Charity and The National Lottery Community Fund for making these camps possible, but above all our gratitude goes to the young people and coaches involved for spending their Easter Holiday with us.