From left to right – Tom Mothersole, Rachel Sherrington, May Lester, Hannah Reeve and Craig Miller

On Thursday 6th July, three representatives from Quality Context (Debbie, Craig and Hannah) and three from Counter Context (May, Rachel and Tom) proudly volunteered at the Sheffield Sharks Respect Tournament, as part of our recently announced sponsorship deal.

The Respect Tournament marks the end of the annual Respect Programme which reaches over 600 young people in the Sheffield City Region each year. These are young people who are vulnerable to risks and pressures in society. The children all receive six hours of in-school basketball training, prior to the tournament, alongside the educational workshops that the Sharks team provides.

Along with the hands-on introduction to the sport, the programme also educates young people on the dangers of social issues such as cyber-bullying, child exploitation and crime. The annual cross-school tournament is hosted at the home of the Sheffield Sharks Professional Basketball team: the English Institute of Sport.

Ten schools from across the region came together as a celebration for reaching the end of the school years Respect Programme and competed against the other teams for the winning spot.

The standard of play was exceptional from all (especially given that all of the children were aged below 11 years, and would certainly have given us a run for our money!). All of the teams, volunteers and staff involved showed real sportsmanship.

The event was a huge success. Feedback given by the children and schools on the day was unanimously positive, many of them saying how much fun they had and how lucky they felt to have had the opportunity.

Throughout the event, Quality Context and Counter Context staff were on hand to support with the organisation of the children, taking photos of them in action, keeping score of the games and generally just joining in the fun.

It was a real privilege for us to be involved in the event, alongside South Yorkshire Housing Association. Seeing the children give it their all, supporting their fellow team mates, and being able to cheer them on from the side-lines, leads us to confidently say the programme really has had a positive impact on young people’s lives. The event was an excellent way to kick-start our sponsorship. We’re looking forward to supporting the in-school programme more closely over the next academic year.