Lancaster Uni Korfball Club receives ‘Lockdown Legends’ award

Team manager, Luke Ravenscroft, received special recognition for his commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion

Lancaster Uni Korfball Club has received the title of ‘Lockdown Legends’ by England Korfball following their work during the pandemic.

Throughout lockdown, LU Korfball Club hosted virtual fitness sessions for their members, in order to provide people with opportunities to keep fit and social.

The society also contributed to local communities through a fundraiser where members of the society ran the distance of every league game and back. They raised £500 for Cancer Care Lancashire and held a Korfball session for children bereaved by cancer.

We spoke to the club chairman, Luke Ravenscroft, who was one of nine national recipients of the ‘Lockdown Legends’ title due to his work making LUKC a more inclusive space for all.

‘The whole club is one big family’

Luke is a third-year student who has been playing Korfball for three years, despite never hearing of it before joining Lancaster University. Luke told us that there were a couple of reasons as to why he joined the society: “Firstly, I played wheelchair basketball before uni and thought it would be quite similar. The people made me stay. As cheesy as it sounds, we became a little family from the first time we played Korf together and the whole club is one big family, as opposed to just hanging out with your team; it was quite a special feeling.”

‘My main focus has been equity, diversity and inclusivity

Luke said that he felt “overwhelmed, both from an individual and a club perspective.” He explained how the award coincides with his values as being chair of the society, adding “my main focus has been equity, diversity and inclusivity, so I think having my hard work recognised has made me really proud.

“From a club perspective, I could not be prouder of my team, everyone has worked tremendously hard to make sure that the club is a welcoming and safe space off and on the court. Everyone has played a crucial role in ensuring the safety of our members, from the risk assessments and covid procedures we have to follow to our coaches running the fitness sessions and our publicity officers making sure that everyone knows we still exist amidst the lockdown. And to our social secretaries, who hosted virtual and in-person socials (when allowed) so that we could make the most out of a weird situation with covid.”

‘I’m hoping this encourages a few more new faces to join us’

Being chairman since 2019, Luke doesn’t see things changing after winning Lockdown Legends. He said: “We have always put a significant focus on diversity and inclusivity within Korf (which has been seen in our work with CancerCare, Out in the Bay and various projects with LUSU) and this award is a great testament to all of the dedication shown by my exec.”

Going forward, Luke “doesn’t want our hard work to stop” and thinks that “every club should promote inclusivity and be more welcoming where possible, so I’m hoping this encourages a few more new faces to join us during the year and keep making sure that Korf is a friendly and welcoming environment to all.”

‘LUKC managed to create a family and support system for our members’

Luke thinks that “every club in England really did some amazing things throughout lockdown to keep everyone’s spirits up, but LUKC managed to create a family and support system for our members.”

Their commitment to their many projects has made this clear, with Luke citing the work they have put on “inclusivity policies, charitable fundraising and our work as an exec to keep members engaged throughout the lockdowns by organising online Korf Wicks fitness sessions and our socials” as reasons for LUKC standing out in the crowd.

‘Korfball is in its most successful year in terms of membership’

Fortunately, Korfball society is currently in “its most successful year in terms of membership.” Luke hopes that “all of the great members stick around and hopefully bring some of their mates along too.”

He said that they have “developed a great presence on social media” and this is something that they aim to keep up with.

‘Of all the Korfball clubs in England, we were recognised’

When asked about how it felt having his work recognised, Luke said: “I’m really proud of all of the work is finally acknowledged. Noticing that the things which we implemented had a genuinely positive effect on our members and the wider community – so much so that CancerCare have organised their ReFresh Young People’s Group to come back for another session with us soon.”

Luke said that he was surprised that it was an all-student run group that won the award: “I was just in shock that out of all of the Korfball clubs in England, we were one of those who had been recognised for their work.”

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