Hartlepool basketball club to tackle anti-social behavior with support from Cleveland Crime Commissioner

Hartlepool Huskies have been awarded £5,000 by PCC Steve Turner to run a city-wide competition as part of a summer project scheme in all 13 city wards.

The funding for the crime commissioner — who previously played basketball nationally — supports the work the Huskies have already done with the city’s youth, which has seen steep declines in antisocial behavior.

The money will be used to pay for coaching and equipment with a particular focus on areas of the city where levels of deprivation and harmful behaviors are high.

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Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner (center) joins practice with Hartlepool Huskies players (left to right) Lucas Lidell, Aliyah Haque, Austin Meek and Sam Wheeler. Photo by FRANK REID

Mr Turner, who played for Middlesbrough Mowhawks until the age of 21, said: “Basketball is a great way to build teamwork and positive relationships.

“Being able to fund this program allows me to give back to a sport, which I have learned so much from over the years.”

He attended a Hartlepool Huskies training session at the Mill House Leisure Center to show his support and spoke to players and coaches.

Mr Turner added: “It’s really good to see so many girls getting involved as well. I think the concept of what the Huskies are trying to do by going to every neighborhood in Hartlepool and giving young people the opportunity to try something new is great.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner (center back) with the Hartlepool Huskies basketball club. Photo by FRANK REID

Hartlepool Huskies introduce young people aged 6-16 to the sport through a series of pop-up events.

So far they have held three pilot ‘neighborhood takeover’ matches in Owton Manor, Bishop Cuthbert and Victoria Ward, where anti-social behavior dropped by 96% in March.

Calvin George, director of basketball operations for the Huskies and former Newcastle Eagles player, said: “It’s about engaging them in a really positive way and giving them something to do.

“The funding allows us to run our summer program and bring basketball to every neighborhood in Hartlepool.”

Steve Turner shoots hoops with Hartlepool Huskies players Sam Wheeler (left) and Aliyah Haque during a practice session. Photo by FRANK REID

Small tournaments will be held for all wards with winning primary and secondary age teams representing their area in an event to crown the winners of the Hartlepool Neighborhood Takeover Championship Cup.

Along with the cup, the Huskies will hold three-day summer camps aimed at under-10s through under-16s.

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