A basketball club that teaches youngsters the meaning of respect has received a haul of new equipment – thanks to their local bobby on the beat.
Cardinal Hornets is a volunteer-led basketball club that is ran by the Newcastle Eagles Community Foundation our of Cardinal Hume Primary School in Gateshead.
More than a hundred children between the ages of five and 16 are part of the club and compete in matches against other schools across the region.
But the club also aims to teach the children the meaning of respect while giving those who have difficulty in school an opportunity to flourish.
Martin Walton volunteers at the club six hours every week to offer coaching and support head coach Anthony Forrester, who is part of the Eagles Community Foundation.
That comes on top of his day job working in the front office of Gateshead Police Station and the hours he puts in as a Northumbria Police Special Constable.
He applied to the Force’s Police Charities Fund for money to help keep the Cardinal Hornets team going.
And now Martin has spoken of his delight after they funded the purchase of new basketballs and basketball hoops for the club on Old Durham Road.
He said: “With the amount of children increasing on a weekly basis we try our hardest to raise funds for the club.
“We have had funding from the Police Charities Fund in the past which has helped the club massively and without which we would not be in the position we are in.
“We are incredibly grateful for the new equipment and it will accommodate the children in ways you couldn’t imagine.
“The club doesn’t just teach the children basketball, it teaches them respect, and it and helps them make new friends and communicate with other children.
“The club is like a big family, and we help each other both on the court and off the court.
“Some children who attend the club come from deprived areas and getting them involved in the club is a massive help with their confidence.”
Martin initially got involved in the club as a parent but is now a coach and recently gained a level two England Basketball Coaching Qualification.