YMCAs across England and Wales are joining forces for the YMCA World Challenge on Saturday 3 June, in the run up to the global organisation’s 173rd anniversary next week.
Local YMCAs will offer a range of activities to engage as many people as possible in basketball, which will range from seated basketball sessions to shooting hoops competitions, and much more.
Basketball, which was invented at YMCA Springfield College in the USA 125 years ago this year, will bring together YMCAs in 119 countries in celebration of the charity’s birthday to show that sport is more than just good fun and, at its best, serves local communities and empowers young people.
As well as being invented by YMCA of the USA, basketball was also first brought to the UK by the youth charity, courtesy of CJ Proctor, President of Birkenhead YMCA – now YMCA Wirral – in 1892.
Denise Hatton, YMCA England & Wales Chief Executive, said:
“Throughout the decades, we’ve had great innovations at YMCA including volleyball, futsal and, of course, basketball.
“Sport has been a vital part of our work since our early beginnings in 1844, so it’s a fitting tribute to our founder Sir George Williams to get as many people as possible involved in basketball as part of our world challenge.
“YMCA is a global family and we’re excited to join our friend and colleagues around the world in this important challenge to highlight the positive impact we can have when we all come together.”
In addition to local YMCA activities across England and Wales, it is hoped that YMCAs as far afield as India, Brazil, Germany and Nigeria will also join together for the World Challenge. Follow World YMCA on Twitter for updates.
Founded on 6 June 1844 by Sir George Williams, a worker in the drapery trade in London, YMCA now operates in 119 countries, supporting or working with 58 million people every year.
In England and Wales alone, YMCA works in 740 different communities impacting upon the lives of more than 630,000 people every year.
To find out more about how to get involved in your local YMCA’s World Challenge activities, visit www.ymca.org.uk/find-a-ymca .