The North School Lions want to be more than just a basketball team. They want to be seen as role models who give back to the local community and they want to show that sport can be about much more than just a game. This week saw the return of the Lions’ Christmas Charity Drive, their longest running community project and one that is particularly special to them. The Lions have held a Christmas Charity Drive on behalf of the Salvation Army since 2010 and the 2016 event saw them collect their biggest haul yet with an array of toys, food, clothing and shoes being donated. The donations are all passed on to the Ashford branch of the Salvation Army so that they can be distributed locally to those in need at Christmas time.
Lions Head Coach, Andrew Sunderland commented ‘We started the Christmas Charity Drive in our first year because we wanted to be more than just a school basketball team; we wanted to be something for the local community to be proud of. Being involved in the project really highlights the importance of togetherness and we hope that we can inspire others to get involved in supporting those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Our young players are such positive role models on the court, around the school and in the local community and it is a privilege to work with them on a daily basis’. Lion’s players are of various ages and various backgrounds but they all share one passion; basketball. It has given them a drive and focus to steer them down a positive path for the future and they want basketball to make a difference for others too. The Christmas Charity Drive is something that the players are heavily involved in and they all take responsibility for both donating items and drumming up extra support for the project. Star Point Guard and Co-Captain, Ross Bampton commented ‘All of the players are totally behind the event. We’re proud to represent The North School and the town of Ashford as a whole. Lions Basketball means family to all of us involved and if we can come together to help others out, especially at Christmas time, then it’s an achievement that goes beyond basketball’. Lion’s players have travelled across the world in the name of basketball, attending camps, tournaments and playing in arenas as prestigious as Madison Square Garden, New York. It has quite literally changed lives in some cases and the players and coaches want that to be able to carry that out to the local community as well. The Lions are involved in a multitude of community projects including their ‘Lions Rule the School’ Primary School scheme and ‘Lions Go Green’ events. Anybody who is interested in finding out more about the Lions community projects or The North School Lions Basketball Academy can contact Head Coach, Andrew Sunderland at firstname.lastname@example.org.