Zoom sessions keep young Hackney basketball players with learning disabilities active
- Credit: Access Sport
A Hackney sports club is hosting weekly zoom sessions to help young basketball players with learning disabilities and autism stay connected during the coronavirus lockdown.
Safe Haven Basketball Club was set up by Emma Colverd in 2016.
She told the Gazette: ““I set up the club when we returned from living in New York with a daughter who was crazy about basketball.
“There was no provision for young people for learning disabilities to play basketball in London, so we started a club, with support from Basketball England.”
The club has given Emma’s daughter Grace and other young people with learning disabilities spaces to stay active and socialise.
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But the Covid-19 lockdown has meant local sports groups have had to close their doors and move services online.
“Zoom sessions are important because many of our members find disruption to routine very difficult. The sessions have allowed them to have some routine which helps to stabilise their anxiety during a time when many other changes have been occurring,” said Emma.
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The community sports group has clubs in Westminister, Hackney and Southwark.
Its weekly fitness classes on Zoom are led by head coach Josephine Maignomo.
“The club is all about giving young people with learning disabilities the same experience of sport as their neuro-typical peers,” said Emma.
Before the lockdown, Emma was due to open a Saturday club in Camden.
She hopes that in the not-too-distant future club players will be able to meet up outside to practise skills and shooting hoops.
Safe Haven sports clubs are supported by sport inclusion charity Access Sport, through its disability inclusion programme which so far has engaged over 10,000 disabled young people and up-skilled over 800 new disability inclusive coaches and volunteers.
The charity Access Sport aims to transform the lives of disabled and disadvantaged young people through the power of sport. To find out more about Access Sport, visit www.accesssport.org.uk