- National Teams
An outdoor basketball court in Deptford, South London, has been renovated to make it amongst the best outdoor courts in the country.
‘Deptford Blue Cage in Lewisham, formerly a two court space with wooden backboards and typical gravel style concrete surface, has been resurfaced, turned into three courts, with custom post frames, perspex backboards and spring-loaded rings, along with flood lights and an art-court design.
“Our new basketball court – the blue cage – on Evelyn Green is just one of the play spaces and playgrounds that we’re improving in Deptford,” Damien Egan, the Mayor of Lewisham told London News Online.
“A lot of people do not have gardens of their own and these spaces are really important. Many thanks to our council teams and partners for making this fantastic new leisure space happen.”
The transformation and design was driven by Sam Sure, a user of the court, who has built a community-inspired clothing brand off the back of it, Half Decent Day.
Funding the courts were part of the council’s £700,000 investment from Section 106 (contributions from developers towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure as a result of a new development taking place) and Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL – a non-negotiable charge that developers pay to councils on most new developments for community projects) funds for the Evelyn ward to “enhance outdoor spaces and encourage greater participation in exercise to improve both mental and physical health.”
Sam worked as an unofficial consultant to provide basketball expertise, doing the designs, technical drawings, measurements, and helping select the equipment while serving as the voice of the community.
“It’s a childhood dream for me,” he told Hoopsfix. “I’ve always been obsessed with streetball courts. The Blue Cage in Deptford is a perfect example of what a streetball court should be. It’s competitive. It can be intimidating but it’s a true community. As soon as I found it I new it was going to have a huge impact on my life.
“The design of the court was just a translation of my experience of the cage, representing it togetherness, unity and equality.
“I started campaigning and emailing the council over 2 years ago. I was determined to make sure it was done to the best it could be.
“Once the funding was agreed I became a sort of unofficial consultant from that point on, helping with the specs, technical drawings, advice and as a voice of the users.
“Glendale, Lewisham and Multimac, who were the contractors, were very responsive to the desires of the community and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Deptford Blue Cage is the latest outdoor basketball court to be renovated in the country – find out how to drive your own local court project with our ‘How to Renovate Your Local Basketball Court’ guide.