Budding ballers can live hoop dreams with police and pros 

  • Date

    Thu 28 Jul 22

Budding basketballers will team up with Essex Rebels stars and ballin’ bobbies as part of an exciting summer scheme.

Budding ballers can live hoop dreams with police and pros 

The University of Essex-supported scheme will see Essex Police officers and top players tour parks across the Colchester area over the course of July and August.

It is hoped the Ballin’ With a Bobby project will provide high-end coaching, and sporting fun whilst helping guide youngsters away from crime

The collaboration with The University of Essex’s elite sports side will see top coaches share their knowledge with budding players.

Essex Police say it will “break down barriers and perceptions they may have of police”.

And Stanley Kadzunge, fan engagement and matchday entertainment officer at the University believes the events will boost basketball’s profile.

He said: “We are pleased to be working with the Essex Police for our 2nd summer of the Ballin’ with a Bobby project.

“This year we have extended the park tour to engage children in Colchester and some of its surrounding areas, providing opportunities for children to engage in conversations with their local police officers and assist with breaking down barriers in the local community through the game of basketball.

“Children will also be given the opportunity to play and meet some of our Essex Rebels players and staff, meeting role models which will help inspire the next generation of basketball players.

“With the backing of Basketball England’s Project swish, we hope to continue making a positive impact to the communities around us and grow the profile of basketball in the region”

The two-hour events will run from 4-5pm for primary school children and 5-6pm for secondary school children.

They will take place in:

  • 3rd of August: Wivenhoe, King George V Field, CO7 9AB
  • 4th of August:  West Mersea, The Glebe, CO5 8RS
  • 25th of August: Colchester, Monkwick School, CO2 8NN
  • 31st of August: Colchester, Old Heath Rec, Co1 2ER

PC Dex Adams is leading the drive with Essex police and will be lining up on the courts.

He said: "I’m delighted to be working with the University of Essex and the Essex Rebels to deliver 'Ballin' with a Bobby' to our Colchester communities again this year.

“Last year was a great success and this year we offer this free activity to even more people.

“Through Essex Rebels’ strong links to Basketball England as our local professional basketball team, we want to encourage more young people into sports and away from crime.

"Project Swish will help us to improve the facilities that are already in the community and free to use

 “Anyone who comes along will be able to speak to us about their concerns about any challenges they may face while living and growing up in their community.

“But it also gives us the opportunity to have conversations around subjects such as knife crime, online safety and stop and search.

"We have found playing sport with our young people helps break down barriers and perceptions they may have of police.

“It’s a real bonus to be able to improve the relationship between the community and local policing teams.”