The Runnymede Trust Basketball Inspiration Programme with London Thunder Basketball Club

Read more about our incredibly successful collaboration with Michelle Moore, Runnymede Trust Basketball Inspiration Director.

Watch the video here

Gender Empowerment Through Sport…

‘Thank you so much for making me believe in myself’ Stacey

These were the powerful words spoken by a 14-year-old South London young woman who along with 350 participants started her day being part of a gender empowerment assembly. Stacey’s comments echo those of many of the other girls who found this special assembly a supportive and inspiring experience. Stacey’s comments become even more significant given the high percentage of young women in the UK who have low levels of body confidence.

The power of the sports role model is well and truly alive…..

The highlight of the assembly was an interview between two Great Britain international basketball players, Paige Robinson and Rosalee Mason. They highlighted their own stories of success, adversity and inspiration. Paige a 19-yearold basketball player, currently on a scholarship in the US, has represented England from the age of 15 and has played internationally in Spain. Her love of basketball started at local London Thunder basketball club was aged 13. Rosalee Mason was capped for England over 65 times and has played all over the world and is now a coach. The players

caused an even greater stir when they showed the girls their medals. Rosalee also produced the Olympic torch, as she was a torchbearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The assembly was delivered by the programme founder Michelle Moore and started with Sport England’s Maya Angelou narrated ‘This Girl Can’ film followed by a discussion focused on body confidence, barriers to sport for girls, gender stereotypes and the importance of physical activity. As part of the presentation the students were shown a photograph of the girls team at London Thunder basketball club; a club with a small girls team looking to expand. The assembly was energetic with rousing high fives and spot prizes of London Thunder drawstring bags and autographs from the players.

After the assembly girls took part in a basketball coaching masterclass delivered by the players who are also both qualified coaches. This was no ordinary PE lesson and students were seriously put through their basketball paces!

The assembly and basketball coaching took place in four secondary schools and is part of the Basketball Inspiration Programme; a sport for social change programme using basketball to inspire and motivate girls to increase their levels of physical activity, enhance well-being and to challenge gender stereotypes.

For the final part of the programme a number of students from each of the schools were invited to a special basketball masterclass at nearby London Thunder basketball club. A group of 70 young women took part, learnt new basketball skills and were also treated to the tricks and flairs demonstrations from the basketball player coaches which left the girls spellbound as they watched the 6ft 4 Paige Robinson dunk away to her hearts content. The Thunder Girls teams are now welcoming new players to training.

Student Feedback…..

’This project was amazing!’

‘My body is not the most important thing but it’s what I can achieve’

‘The best assembly we’ve had all year’

‘I loved meeting Paige she is such an inspiration and her story makes me feel motivated’

‘I liked the ‘This Girl Can’ video because it inspired me to be more active and inspired me that anyone can do anything as long as they put their mind to it’

This initiative has been hugely successful as Basketball Inspiration Founder Michelle Moore explains ’The project has had a positive impact on students, teacher and sports coaches alike. Basketball player coaches Rosalee Mason and Paige Robinson are powerful role models who come from the same community as the girls; they talk like the girls and even look like some of the girls. They inspired the future generation of young people to dare to dream big, to be proud of their bodies and to take part in physical activity and give basketball a go too!’

The programme has reached 1400 young people aged 11-16 years old and was delivered in Sydenham Girls school, Haberdasher’s Aske’s Hatcham College, Compass school – Southwark and Prendergast school. The next phase of the project will focus on targeting younger students at primary schools in Lewisham. For more information please visit To find out more about London Thunder Basketball Club visit This Runnymede Trust project is funded by The Fawcett Society and Spirit of 2012.