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Newham basketball inspiration becomes ambassador for the sport

PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 March 2020

Caroline Charles with some of her young players at Newham Youngbloods

Caroline Charles with some of her young players at Newham Youngbloods

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Caroline Charles of Newham Youngbloods has been appointed by Basketball England

Newham's Caroline Charles is already well known in the area as an inspirational coach in the world of basketball.

And now the Newham Youngbloods founder is looking to do the same on a bigger scale as she has been announced as an official ambassador to Basketball England.

Her appointment is part of the All Girls campaign to increase opportunities for women and girls to get involved in the sport, be it playing, coaching, officiating or volunteering.

Recognised both nationally and locally as an influential advocate of the sport, Caroline will be responsible for engaging with women and girls in Newham, East London to provide opportunities to get involved with basketball.

Having moved to East London when she was 15, Caroline attended West Ham College where she was able to meet other young people from the area.

After becoming friends with a Basketball enthusiast, Caroline was encouraged to join the local coaching sessions, where despite her lack of knowledge and having never played the game before, she soon became hooked on the sport, sparking a life-changing passion.

With her basketball experience ranging from being a player, to coaching England's under-16 girls' team and owning Junior Club Newham Youngbloods, Caroline became aware of the All Girls campaign and ambassador programme and knew she had to get involved to help sustain the future of the sport.

"I wanted to get involved," said Caroline. "The catchment for girls wanting to play basketball needs to be younger and more basketball coaches need to encourage female participation.

"If we don't maintain female interest in the sport, then accessibility will suffer."

She continued: "A lot of the skills I have discovered on the basketball court can be attributed to situations that will cross your paths in real life.

"I have met so many people through the sport and I'm looking forward to working with like-minded people who have a passion for basketball. I can't wait to exchange ideas and experiences!"

The ambassador programme aims to support Basketball England's overall vision of nurturing the female game, creating a lifelong affinity with the sport, whilst shining a spotlight on the role models (both male and female) who are helping to drive the sport forward.

"We know there's a lack of awareness of basketball among women and young girls," said the CEO of Basketball England Stuart Kennett.

"Our All Girls Ambassadors will be shouting from the rafters in their area, positioning the game in a way that speaks directly to them.

"We hope this ground-breaking programme will not only highlight the great work of the basketball community, but showcase the numerous ways that all women and girls can be part of this amazing sport."

To join the All Girls movement and find your nearest club and taster session, visit www.basketballengland.co.uk/get-involved/play/all-girls-campaign/

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