Make it happen summer league, gave us hope...
Hope that we can actually Make a positive campaign, that will see the lives of many young people feeling appreciated and valued, a campaign that saw communities rise up together, despite differences between Londons infamous postcode wars, crime and young people not always feeling safe, many now being pressured into crime at a young age, Make it happen brought together young people, with different nationalities, it became a safe hub in the summer of 2019, one of our best summers yet.
The event not only provided a safe, fun and faith filled atmostphere for young people, prior to the beginning of the event on 6th August, young people between the ages of 15-17 worked really hard through the RDF IMPACT work experience programme, planning, calling companies, researching, searching for ways to make sure that MAKE IT HAPPEN SUMMER LEAGUE would be one to remember, countless hours of selfless ideas, that would not only see a successful event through, it would become the pillar to 5V5 Youth Summer Leagues in London.
The event was planned for Girls and Boys aged 13-21, due to not having enough females and U14 boys, we had to buckle some ideas together, so the U14 boys that did sign up were challenged to compete with the U17 age group and the females were put through their paces in an exhibition game mixed with boys, we had to find a way to MAKE IT HAPPEN, and since has become our motivation whenever RDF as a group feel like there are barriers and obstacles in front of them, we have built this culture to ensure that we motivate one another and encourage each other, that whatever we go through, whatever happens, we can make something positive out of any situation.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Mayor of London for believing in us, and funding the project which supported us throughout the event, to pay for all the logistics of the event, when we received the funding we was only supposed to deliver 1 day a week for the Summer League, but the passion kicked in and Lamar Roberts got on the phone to Jason Henley (a legend) and shared his hopes to deliver a 5v5 summer basketball league in London, the collaboration between Regal Basketball and RDF was long overdue and this was the perfect timing, Jason we would like to thank you so much for believing in the vision, Jason opened the doors to us at the Regal and we now had 2 days a week to deliver the MAKE IT HAPPEN SUMMER LEAGUE.
As more and more sign up's took place on Eventbrite, the excitement become real and although all these sign ups took place, we wasn't actually sure who was going to attend...
A Massive thank you to NIKE & LUCOZADE, we had some exclusive giveaway prizes, t shirts for all participants and lucozade sport for all senior participants taking part in the Summer League.
We had GB Will Saunders coming to talk to the participants and sharing his advice and gems that would encourage the young people to continue to pursue their dreams.
A night before the event we contacted Carol Moir, we had a feeling something that was very key to the event was missing, it was about making sure we remembered the event in the best way possible and to invite one of the best in the game Carol to get involved was one of the best decisions we made. Her photography skills are amaaaaazzzzziiiinnnnggggg!
Ok... So its Tuesday 6th August, 8am and we have all the RDF volunteers/coaches/referees/officials ready to begin setting up... filled with excitement still not sure who will turn up, in the middle of nowhere near Barking River...
The time goes on and we see more groups of young people on the bus at a time.. maybe 7-8 turning up at a time, until BOOM! 130+ young people on the front door of Riverside Campus (Riverside Campus = Legends), Riverside support our vision and without them we wouldn't have as much impact on young people from Barking and neighbouring boroughs as we do.
130+ young people, wow... so now we are registering all the players, sign ups, giving out t shirts for the participants to play in, and then looking around and seeing the gym filled with young people, excited and ready to play basketball, with the RDF logo on truly amazed us, we had GB players, EABL, ABL, NL PREM, CONFERENCE, GRASSROOTS, CBL, RBL, BEGINNERS all involved, representing the game to the fullest, seeing the amount of LOVE and encouragement the players had for one another and for the organisers was amazing, the young people truly appreciated the event.
We thank all the young people who attended the MAKE IT HAPPEN SUMMER LEAGUE @MIHSUMMERLEAGUE, we MADE IT HAPPEN because of you.
MAKE IT HAPPEN SUMMER LEAGUE ran throughout the whole of august
it consisted of 6 regular league games in each group, 40 minutes each game... then PLAYOFFS were decided and we had final 4s and finals at THE REGAL on the 29th August.
The event lasted more than 80+ hours across 8 full days.
We had a ALLSTAR GAME, SKILLS CHALLENGE, DUNK CONTEST AND THE FINALS on the 29th, what a summer to remember.