We’re thrilled to announce a partnership between Help for Heroes and British Wheelchair Basketball, set to ignite the spirit of sport and community across the UK.
After a successful summer series, we’re looking forward to a yearlong celebration of grassroots multisport events. Our goal is simple but powerful: to foster sport and activity engagement at both local and national levels, within a safe and inclusive environment for the Armed Forces Community.
These monumental events are designed to sow the seeds of growth in local sports and activities, offering opportunities for new participation and progressive competition alike.
British Wheelchair Basketball will collaborate with Help for Heroes, the leading Armed Forces and veterans’ charity in the UK, to engage 300 participants from the Armed Forces Community across the nation. This partnership aims to not only enhance sport but also facilitate networking, development, and support for clubs and coaching networks.
Over a 12 week period from 2nd January 2024 until 31st March 2024, Help for Heroes will be signposting veterans to club sessions, ideally these would be at normal training sessions to help integrate into the club. Each veteran will have 6 sessions for free across this time before deciding to commit to the club. This can either be weekly, fortnightly or sporadically. We ask that clubs are as flexible and welcoming as possible during this transition. Help for Heroes regional staff will support participants during this time and aim to build local partnerships with clubs.
The partnership will also see British Wheelchair Basketball, through Sport England investment into its Inspire a Generation Programme, commit grant funding to purchase new sports wheelchairs in a bid to provide more opportunities for people to play wheelchair basketball at the events. The funding for the 12 chairs has been secured through the Inspire a Generation programme.
Speaking about the partnership, Inspire a Generation Programme Manager Grant Wilson said:
“We are delighted to be working with Help for Heroes on this exciting project. Wheelchair basketball is a sport that absolutely anyone can enjoy, and our partnership with the Help for Heroes Community Games will create a bespoke competition that provides opportunities for people to experience its many benefits.
“Through the Series we will be able to encourage more people to try the sport, in the hope that they will then want to get involved in the Inspire a Generation programme or join one of our many fantastic clubs.”
Jodie Amor, Community Clubs Development Lead for Help for Heroes, added:
“The support from British Wheelchair Basketball has been incredible. Without the Inspire a Generation programme many of our events such as our Community Sports Series wouldn’t be able to go ahead.
“Leaving the Armed Forces can be a difficult time for many veterans and it’s important that they get the support they need during this transition. Sporting and social activities are vital in reducing social isolation as veterans lose the camaraderie and togetherness of military life.
“Our aim is to provide a welcoming environment and offer sporting opportunities to veterans. This partnership not only provides much needed equipment but will help us reduce barriers to veterans and their family members taking part in sport.
“This project aims to provide an aspirational pathway for those interested in both recreational and competitive sport and grow sport provision across the country. It will support us in our mission to provide a wide range of free sporting and physical activities right across the UK, where veterans and their families can access them most easily.”
Events will be staged locally, before progressing to regional events and culminating in a national sporting event. Participants will not only represent themselves, but also their local region in a bid to create a team ethos and fellowship that they can continue to develop in their regions after the events have concluded.
To find out more about the Community Games Series, head to https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-help/sports-social-activities/community-sports-series/?edit&language=en-gb