Ball & Eat: Basketball Masterclass Camp hosted by the LBA

The London Basketball Association’s Ball & Eat event was a basketball camp aimed at disadvantaged young school kids across London.
The February half-term may have given teachers much-needed respite but over 30 unique participants used their school break to take part in the London Basketball Association’s Ball & Eat camp.
St Augustine’s Sports Centre, the venue of the LBA’s weekly scrimmages, hosted this intense but rewarding four-day camp which saw kids from all over London and from different backgrounds come together to develop not only their free throw shot but importantly their confidence and interpersonal skills.
© Lauren Namoi Butcher
At this camp, young people could participate in a series of basketball drills focusing on the different skills of the sport led by numerous talented LBA coaches.
While on Thursday our strength conditioning coach, Joseph Walsh-Norman, delivered a comprehensive session on nutrition, eating well and personal fitness. Feeding into our overall mission of improving the health and wellness of all the young people we meet.
© Lauren Namoi Butcher
The aim of this event, which for many kids saw them play basketball competitively for the first time, was to demonstrate that not only are they good enough to play basketball but to create a life-long passion for the sport.
Such passions can and have translated into employability, one of our key values at the LBA is not only to nurture and develop the skills of these kids but to highlight how such sentiments for the sports can see them get access to life-long paid opportunities by successfully completing our ROC (Referees, Officials, and Coaches) programme.
Like George Boyd, a 14-year-old schoolboy who is currently undertaking some of our ROC courses.
George was identified by some of our current coaches as having the potential to lead as demonstrated by his effective communication and active listening skills, at the camp he spoke to the LBA about his gratitude to Tony Lazare (Founder) and Lukas Cato (Project Assistant Manager) from the LBA.
“The coaching course was very simple and easy to do, the questionnaire and guidance helped me a lot and I’m grateful for the coaches [for] inviting me to do this,” said George.
Some of our scrimmages were even officiated by some of our newly qualified referees, just further illustrating the quick turnaround from certification to events and jobs.
© Lauren Namoi Butcher
Speaking at the camp, Cameron an 11-year-old schoolboy from Eritrea but living in London said:
“Some of the skills I’ve developed are my speaking skills and the coaches and refs have been so helpful and personally the highlight for me personally has been the scrimmages.”
“I’ve had the most fun and I just want to say thank you to the LBA for not only feeding us but keeping us busy during the holiday.”
© Lauren Namoi Butcher
More schoolkids like Darren, Lorenzo, Shaq and Jasper reaffirmed how much they enjoyed the competitive spirit at the camp and also praised the coaches.
“The coaches have been very disciplined and tough but it was worth it because they help you reach your goals, my basketball IQ has improved so much”, Shaq from North West London said.
The camp was held with the support of Westminster City Council, sponsors like this enable us to empower the next generation by improving their health and wellness but also introduce them to an endless amount of opportunities within the sport of basketball.
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