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Weʼre raising £3,000 to Please help us keep our young people off the streets and support our local community basketball club!

London, London Borough of Hackney, United Kingdom

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Hackney Royals, is a community basketball sports club. We are located in the heart of East London, in the London borough of Hackney. The club focuses on children and young people, for all genders, all ethnicities, form 9 – 18 years. This club was first situated in Kings Hall leisure center which some of you may know as, “Hackney Baths”. They then resided to The Urswick Secondary School. This relocation made it better to target more young people, in problematic backgrounds, whilst keeping the venue central, along with easy access, increased security and space, better facilities with more room for participant development.

Coach Ashley Fagan- Cooper, started the club in February 2011. He saw that his neighbourhood was filled with, gangs, anti-social behaviour, drugs, low income social benefit households and young people drawing themselves to lawbreaking activities. Wanting a change, it was then he realised that it was time for a change, time to change people’s perceptions of young people. He introduced them into a sport which he himself loved and this was to play basketball. A sports coach in a primary school, a family man with his own children would go on and fund a team. Making his dream come to reality and share his passion with the ones he loved in order to create a safer community.

The mission is to simply target our community. Helping children and young people stay actively involved in sports, improve fitness and live a healthier lifestyle, through fun and social activity and competition. Our obligation is to tackle crime and prevent antisocial behaviour, within our local borough. The young people are today’s future. We know how hard it is, when young people have no escape and face constant challenges, along with peer pressures. Which may include living in gang affiliated estates, embedded postcode wars, selling illegal narcotics to sustain an income, or dealing with lethal weapons and committing crimes, where this continually happens on a day to day basis. THIS NEEDS TO STOP!

Hackney Royals has proven to be a successful basketball club in East London. Reaching many young people from across London and the borough of Hackney, reaching local primary, secondary and college educational institutions. Here emerged Coach Mohammed Laribi, a great friend to Coach Ashley. Mohammed Laribi, is an inspiring young man to his local community, winning the “Voluntary Services to Sport and Leisure, 2014/2015” award, and continuously supports the basketball club. Helping to educate young people and bring the community cohesiveness back to normality. Both coaches are well qualified, residents of the community and both delivering intense basketball training sessions. Working in alliance with Basketball England, Hackney Council, schools, youth clubs and community groups.

Yes! There has been a vibrant regeneration bought to Hackney, after the London 2012 Olympics. It has very quickly become a lively social spot, with trendy new businesses and newly built accommodations. Sadly, our young people have not prevailed with the evolution as there is still a lack of options for the youth to evolve. Youth centres have been shut down, adventure playgrounds compromised, a lack of job work experience roles, not many sports clubs situated in the borough. Yet, 10 to 17-year-old make up 11% of Hackney’s population, they are responsible for 28% of reported crime within the borough. Furthermore, 80% of gun crime in London is “Black on Black” crime with half of them being young black males in their teens.

There is an imbalance in funding across basketball. Nevertheless, basketball is one of the fastest growing team sports within the UK. Individual sports such as rowing and kayaking receive more funding than basketball. For our club, we are more focused on creating the opportunities to play the sport whilst developing elite talent. With minimal funding and support we are only able to do the bare minimum in trying to create these opportunities. We want to work together, creating a better future, through discipline, fun and games, and create opportunities such as becoming a player, coach or sport official, media representative or even be a part of the club committee.

Overtime, we have accomplished many things which include trophies and personal achievements. Bringing Hackney from 28th in London to 5th in London in the Male basketball London Youth Games 2012. Coach Ashley won “Best coach of the year 2012 award” and most “Hackney most improved team of the year 2012”. Also winning the London Community Basketball League “Best u16’s male team in London 2014”, “Best u25’s female team in London 2014”. Players have also reached elite levels, travelling to America playing college basketball and players playing for England or in the British Basketball League (BBL) but there is still much more to achieve.

We believe in developing our children as well rounded individuals of moral fortitude and resilience, and work closely with their schools and families to ensure this. We additionally believe fervently in raising the aspirations of our children, and in encouraging their ambitions both on the court and in the classroom. Our next step is to join the National Basketball League, continue to play in the Community Basketball League, enabling our children to access greater resources and competitive outlets.

Timeline Facts:

February 2010 – Aug 2011: Casual sessions at Kings Hall Leisure Centre. Team name “Hackney Kings”, roughly 20 members. October 2011 – September 2012: Enters their first u16’s male team in the Community Basketball League (CBL) and finishes 5th in the London Youth Games. Hackney Council transfers and sponsors the club into the Urswick Secondary School. September 2012 – August 2013: Enters an u16’s boys CBL team. September 2013 – August 2014: u16’s boys and u25’s woman into the CBL and win both leagues. September 2014 – August 2015: u18’s boys National League and u14’s boys CBL September 2015 – August 2016: u18’s boys National League team u25’s men’s team into the (CBL). September 2016 – August 2017: Finished 2nd in the u16’s Eastern Conference for the CBL September 2017 – Present/ Future: Name change to “Hackney Royals” and Entering u12’s – men and woman National League and CBL / Men and Woman D4-D3 National League with over 80 - 100 members.

Break Down of seasonal fees:

This club is funded through player membership and Coaches Ashley and Mohammed and fundraising events.

Venue cost: £40 per hour * 4 Hours = £160 per week * 44 Weeks = £7,040.00 per annum

Equipment: £300.00 (Basketballs, cones, bibs, ladders, water bottles, weights, ropes, goggles, D-Man, Score book, whistles, clipboard)

Kit cost and T- Shirts: £300 - £700 (Including club logo’s and kit numbers, reversible for home and away games)

National League Team Entry: £120.00 youth per team

National League Officials: £20-£25 per official * 4 officials (2 refs and 2 table officials) = £80-£100 per home game * 9 homes games = £720 - £900 per annum

CBL Team Entry: £500.00

Public Liability insurance: £20-£50

Player Licensing: £12 * 12 Players = £144.00

Travel Expenses: Travelling to away games through public transport £100.00 per annum.

We still strive to meet more targets. Our club has many values but we stand by our main 3 values. Ambition, Focus and Commitment. Have an ambition stay focused on that ambition and show commitment to it. “Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.” To be naturally talented in a specific field is a gift but if you do not apply your gift then that gift may be insignificant. Likewise, you may not have the natural gift but if you work harder than others, you can still reach your goals. At our club all our participants are STUDENTS first and ATHLETES second. This is something we strongly stand by, and is a vital part of our player code of conduct. Players who fail to apply themselves in their educational studies are asked to relieve themselves from basketball until they are able to get back on track (with the help of coaches too!).

We are extremely proud of the courage and determination our young athletes show, and the role modelling they take upon themselves in their communities; should you wish to support our children and young people, we would sincerely appreciate any donations, monetary or equipment, that you might be able to offer. Whilst we are primarily raising capital in order to pay for our teams' competition entrance fees and to support our children's travel costs, we would also be grateful for any sports equipment, trainers or clothing. I understand that you already do a great deal to support your community, and I cannot express how much it would mean to our children to receive even a small donation towards the aspirations of both their team and themselves.

We would be more than willing to advertise on your behalf, in return for your support. We will add your logo to our club clothing and promote your work via all our social media platforms. Attaching your logo on our (Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook) Ensuring that we post your brand is recognised across the United Kingdom. Yet, the most compelling incentive I can offer is the sincere thanks of the young people of Hackney. Hackney Royals (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) if you would like to know more about our program and our work with the local community. Thank you for your time and patience.

Lastly, here is an insight of some of the player’s involvements within our basketball club so far and just think of the potential possibilities we could reach if we work together.

“Basketball has been the paving stone to allow me to progress into my current field of work, Youth Work and Youth Sport. I used to play for the club when I was in secondary school. I highly believe that if I didn’t attend the sessions when I was younger that I would have never been coaching with Hackney Royals or be in my current field of work. This is an opportunity I want to pass on to the next generation” Coach Mohammed Laribi (M /21 years) 2017

"Basketball has allowed me to calm and discipline my mind on and off the court and focus on the goal ahead of me. I think funding can help get the club equipment which can help me build and develop the fundamentals of the game" - Ruben Eyene Leger (M /16years) 2017

“Hackney Royals has helped me become fitter and given me opportunities to play a sport that I only started playing in secondary school and now love it. The coaches and teammates has helped me reach a stage in basketball that would be impossible if done so on my own. If Hackney Royals were to receive support I would personally like to see it go towards new balls and other equipment. This will help everyone work on their game and different aspects of it.” - Kayden Issac Corbin (M/ 13 years) 2017

“I'm truly grateful for the game of basketball. It has allowed me to find myself and know my purpose in life. Basketball is all about, team, team, team! … Even if it’s a 1 v 1, your mind, your heart and your body have to work together as a team. So, basketball has allowed me to be interpersonal in a team, gain leadership skills, and it also allowed me to have self-discipline, which most people don't have surprisingly. The small amount of funding we have received previously has definitely given me a great opportunity to access some resources and allows for us to develop skills further and make more friends. I only wish that there was more funding so that more people can join. As great as basketball is, the funding shouldn't be below rowing and kayaking in UK” - Donnie Aikins (M /16 years) 2017

“Before I started playing basketball I was very reserved and quiet. Basketball has allowed me to become more confident in dealing with social situations and make new friends. Funding would be very beneficial to the club as girls and boys train together which is has been somewhat beneficial but at the same time I would prefer a girls only session as it would increase the chemistry between the girls team and help me also in terms of getting to know my teammates better. Also, it can be intimidating when there are sometimes only 7/8 girls in training that day with 25/30 boys. “ – Jessica Oyenyi (F/15 years) 2017

“Playing for Hackney Royals overall has made me a much more confident person. I can see this change in my day-to-day life, for example: public speaking in school and the way I act in school. I think it would be beneficial if we could have a girls only sessions to be able to work on our specific weaknesses and strengths instead of having to do general sessions with the U14 / U18 boys.” - Ruth Usman (F/ 16 years) 2017

Thank you for taking your time to read some of the statements.

Kind Regards

Coach Ashley Fagan- Cooper / Coach Mohammed Laribi

Hackney Royals Community Basketball Club

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    Page last updated on: 1/2/2018 3:08 PM

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      Ashley Fagan- Cooprt

      Ashley Fagan- Cooprt

      London, London Borough of Hackney, United Kingdom

      I am coach Ashley and I am the head basketball coach of Hackney Royals basketball club. I want to keep young people off the streets away from narcotics and anti social behaviour and help young people stay fit, active and healthy through sports, games and fun competition.

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