June 13, 2024

Coventry enterprise used basketball to net good mental health 

COVENTRY social enterprise uses basketball to net good mental health in young people.

Guardian Ballers is a mental and emotional wellbeing service that uses the sport for volunteering experiences for young people aged 10-25.

Data shows that since 2017 the number of young people struggling with their mental health has nearly doubled and two million people are waiting for NHS mental health serviced.

Guardian Ballers is supporting mental health awareness week with the theme ‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’.

Launched by Kieran Joseph in 2021 and in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, the programme engages more than 1,000 young people every year.

The former PE teacher and international charity worker said: “Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.

“It is unisex, non contact and inclusive.

“You are always involved because there are so many touches on the ball.

“Lots of people can’t kick because they don’t have the coordination but everybody can throw and catch.”

They have received £12,500 funding from UnLtd, a charity which has also partnered with Sport England to launch movement for change.

Mark Norbury, chief executive of UnLtd, added: “Social entrepreneurs from our Movement for Change programme are tackling inequalities and mental health challenges with inspired wellbeing solutions and activities.

“They are making a powerful difference in communities – at a time when so many of us have been struggling. We’re excited to support many more social entrepreneurs with Sport England.”

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