In-The-Paint is a Community Art and Sport Project helping to promote the need for greater investment in grass roots basketball in the UK. We aim to re-imagine unloved, under-used and poorly maintained public basketball courts across the UK, by renovating and installing large-scale works of art, in order to strengthen communities and inspire play, culture and creativity in public spaces.

These are halcyon days for British basketball. According to The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, basketball is now the second most popular team sport (after football) in the UK for 11-15 year olds, with 32% of children participating. 336,000 people aged 14-25 or above play basketball in Britain at least once a month – AS MANY as play cricket and golf combined.

Establishing itself as one of the country’s most inclusive games, basketball is ideally suited to areas deprived of space and money – a hoop and a ball are all you need. However it receives nowhere near the same level of funding support. 18% of basketball clubs are located in the most deprived areas of the country, DOUBLE the figure for cricket, rugby, netball or hockey clubs, according to a 2013 study. Over HALF of adult participants are from ethnic minorities, more than any other major sport in Britain. A Sport England Active People study highlighted that 52% of the 155,000 people over 16 that played basketball every week were of black or minority ethnic (BME) origin – THE HIGHEST OF ANY team sport in the UK…

Basketball has greater success in disadvantaged areas because it has huge street credibility and can be played with very little equipment. Between 11-15, 40% per cent of basketball players are female, almost DOUBLE the number for football. Pound for pound, perhaps no sport does more social good in Britain today.”

Photos credit: Shameela Beeloo / Drone photography: Andrew Strelczak