Stars on court for charity

Lance Haggith

Lance Haggith

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Stars of sport, screen and stage are joining a Bedford charity founder to raise money to help young people and promote basket ball.

Hoops Aid, a pro-celebrity basketball event, was set up by Sports Traider Charity founder Lance Haggith.

This year, it will be bigger than ever, taking over The O2 Arena, in North Greenwich.

Lance, himself a local sporting legend having won BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 Unsung Hero award, said: “Two years ago, our first Hoops Aid event was a huge success, so much so that we have outgrown the swanky surroundings of the Copper Box at Her Majesty’s Olympic Park, and are now here at London’s world-famous O2 Arena.

“The aim of the day is to inspire everyone, support disability sport, and raise awareness of all the good work our charity does to break down the barriers that prevent people from all backgrounds fulfilling their sporting ambitions.”

The event will showcase basketball with the Help For Heroes Team taking on the Paralympians, a pro-celebrity match and British Basketball League play-off finals. Between games, there will be entertainment from singers, dancers, cheerleaders and celebrities.

Big names to look out for include boxer David Hayes, street dance troop Diversity, illusionist Dynamo, comedian Russell Brand, singers Tinie Tempah and Leona Lewis, and Strictly’s Ola and James Jordan, and Flavia and Vincent.

Lance said: “Sports Traider is all about enabling anyone to gain access to affordable sports equipment and opportunities, regardless of ability or background.

“We recycle sports gear and create job opportunities for disadvantaged, disabled and troubled youngsters.”

As well as running a successful charity, Lance is supporting his son, Ellis, as he goes through a three-year treatment programme for leukaemia.

Lance said: “The charity helps kids with all sorts of difficulties, including cancer. Ellis is two years into his treatment. We keep positive and we keep busy.”

Hoops Aid is on Sunday, May 10, from 1pm. For tickets and more details, go to www.sportstraider.org.uk/events/hoops-aid-2015

Follow Lance on Twitter @LanceHaggith