On Tuesday 1st November, the London Lions will host their next home fixture in the EuroCup at the OVO Arena Wembley, with all attendance fees being waived in favour of donations for the London-based food distribution charity, City Harvest, with just a single donation of £1 providing up to four free meals for children supported by the organisation.
The Lions will welcome Montenegrin side Budućnost VOLI and will look to build on their historic win over Aquila Basket Trento last week when they became the first UK team in 18 years to win in the prestigious European competition. Their involvement in the EuroCup this season marks a historic moment not just for the London-based side, but also a potential turning point for the growth of British basketball as they became the first UK team to be included in the EuroCup since 2007. The Lions play their next game in the competition away to Spanish side Gran Canaria tonight.
The partnership with City Harvest marks the latest initiative from the team as the Lions aim to make an impact not only on the court but also in their community. City Harvest rescues nutritious surplus food from manufacturers, suppliers, producers and retailers, and delivers, for free, to 375+ London charities feeding those facing food poverty. City Harvest aids nutrition and sustainability by providing life-changing support to communities in every London borough through food donations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste.
Alongside this, the Lions and world-renowned artist, Alvaro Barrington have come together in partnership with Serpentine Galleries, CONSUL and the Tower Hamlets City Council to create a unique basketball court located at Weavers Adventure Playground in Bethnal Green. The renovation will represent the first of an annual initiative from the London team to renovate other inner-city courts. The project aims to bring people from all walks of life together to the court for a celebration of sport, art and community – with a launch event happening on Friday 28th October, to be attended by representatives from the mayor’s office, players from the Lions, children from Weavers Adventure Playground and representatives from the local community.
Sarah Calcutt, CEO of City Harvest comments on the new partnership:
“City Harvest is delighted to be the new charity partner of the London Lions. As part of the fabric of London, City Harvest thrives on connecting key players with areas of need. We supply free food to many youth groups and schools running fit and fed programmes. These free community sessions encourage young people to channel their energy into sports and teamwork to develop key skills, agility and their overall health.
“We thank everyone for supporting us by making a donation so we can continue to offer nutrition to children who would otherwise not eat. So many families are struggling to feed their children right now, please help us to help them.”
Lenz Balan, Vice President of 777, owners of the London Lions, added:
“We are very excited to welcome City Harvest as our new charity partner. Fans will instead be able to get a ticket for the game by making a donation to the charity to help provide food for people in need. We are focused on making an impact not only on the court but also in our community and hope that the fans will help get behind this initiative. The game at the OVO Arena Wembley will mark a momentous occasion as it’s just the second EuroCup game to be played in the UK since 2007.”