Sports, Skills, Success: May 2024 Ball & Eat Lifts London Youth

At the LBA, our mission is rooted in creating opportunities that foster community growth and development. One of our flagship events, the May 2024 Ball & Eat, embodies this mission by providing a supportive environment for youth to thrive. This four-day event, held from May 27th to May 30th, is more than just a sports gathering—it’s a cornerstone of our efforts to keep kids off the streets, provide nutritious meals, and offer valuable skill development.

Impact by the Numbers

50 young athletes came together for the event, creating a vibrant and energetic environment of community and teamwork. Among them, 50% hailed from lower income areas, and 86% received free meals4 ROC officials used this event as a crucial step towards their certification, gaining essential skills and experience that enhanced their employability.

Providing free meals

One of the critical components of our event is ensuring that every participant receives nutritious meals. During school holidays, many children face a lack of access to regular, healthy food, especially considering that over half of our attendees come from areas classified as high on the deprivation index. The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, a Department for Education (DfE) initiative, provides free activities and food provision for children aged 4 to 16 eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas Holidays. Thanks to funding from Westminster City Council, our LBA Ball and Eat camp was able to provide 120* free school meals. The LBA through such camps have been able to give children a safe place to make new friends, improve physically and mentally as well as provide mentorship from professional coaches.

Skill Development for Lifelong Success

Our event isn’t just about immediate needs; it’s about equipping kids with skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Participants in the May Ball & Eat are guided through various skill-building activities that enhance:

Time Management: Learning to balance practice, games, and personal time.

Social Competence: Developing teamwork and communication skills.

Intellectual Flexibility: Encouraging problem-solving and creative thinking.

Task Leadership: Taking initiative and leading peers during activities.

Emotional Control: Managing emotions in high-pressure situations.

Achievement Motivation: Setting and working towards personal goals.

Self-Confidence: Building belief in their abilities through achievements.

Creating Employment Opportunities

A unique aspect of our initiative is the ROC (Referee Official Coaches) program. Through this, we provide employability opportunities for older youth and community members. The LBA have provided ROC courses for free or at a discounted rate to 38 participants through the scholarship program till now in this season. During the May Ball & Eat, several participants and community members have the chance to qualify as ROC officials. These roles are crucial as they not only help in organising and managing the event but also provide valuable work experience and a potential pathway to future employment.

Join Us in Making a Difference

The success of the May Ball & Eat event relies on the support and involvement of our community. By participating, volunteering, or donating, you can help us continue to make a positive impact. Together, we can ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow, learn, and succeed in a safe and nurturing environment.

To learn more about our mission and how you can get involved, visit our website.

Additionally, don’t miss our upcoming Summer Ball & Eat event! It’s another fantastic opportunity for youth to participate, learn, and grow. You can register for the summer event here.

Join us in our mission to empower youth, reduce crime, and build a stronger, more resilient community.