The ‘Passions’ team also worked with a basketball team based at the Factory Youth Zone (now the Manchester Youth Zone) in Harpurhey Manchester, where most of the team went to practice after work because the Youth Zone was one of the few places in Manchester with basketball facilities. These young men were totally focussed on their sport and their time on the court was precious, often leaving little space to talk before they went on with their game. The film illustrates the commitment needed to find a court if basketball is your passion because the lack of basketball facilities is a UK-wide problem.
The film includes extracts from an interview with John Amaechi, the psychologist and former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, who started playing basketball in a Chorlton gym aged 17 and by 26 was playing professionally in the US.
The Manchester youth zone
The Manchester Youth Zone (formerly the Factory Youth Zone) is a state-of-the art facility in Harpurhey, north Manchester which opened in 2012 as an independent charity to attract young people from across the area.
The Youth Zone’s aim is ‘to enable young people to make constructive use of their leisure time and to raise their aspirations and help them to develop a bright future’.
When this film was made in 2015, the Youth Zone was working with young people aged 8-21 (up to 25 for those with additional needs).
Facilities include a full-size sports hall with 8m high climbing wall, 3G outdoor sports pitch, dance studio, music and media suites, theatre, arts room, boxing gym, fully equipped fitness suite, sensory room, recreational area and café.
The ward in which The Factory is located ranks 2nd worst in England for the effect of long term deprivation on children. Many young people in the surrounding area are vulnerable to poor educational attainment, future worklessness and to developing antisocial or offending behaviour.
To find out more about Manchester Youth Zone’s work, see its website: