Annette Hinds one of the original Lady Topcats part of the very first female basketball team that Jimmy Rogers put together upon his arrival in London.
“It was 1981 and the Team was called “Ocho Rios” We were based in what was then the Moonshot Youth Club in South East London. Jimmy taught us from scratch. He also had the vision of a bigger youth programme in London and was the brainchild behind The New Educational Recreation Association along with Courteney Griffiths QC as he is now. I was a member of the board and later became the CEO.
My memories of Jimmy’s training sessions fill me with pride. He was a great teacher and passionate about basketball. He instilled us with discipline and the will to succeed. We worked hard, were organised and motivated. These are traits I have carried into my career as I believe have many others who came through those early days. Jimmy brought out the best in me and made me believe I could be anything I wanted to be.
I played basketball from 1981 – 1989. By this time, the female team developed into the Southside Stealers who then became the Brixton Topcats and played at the Brixton Rec in the national league. It was around this time that I hung up my boots to study law full time.
I am now a Partner/Solicitor at Venters Solicitors where I specialise in Public Law Children Act matters. I am a member of the Law Society’s Children’s Panel which means I am qualified to represent children within Care Proceedings. These are cases where the Local Authority believe a child is at risk of significant harm in the care of its parents and seeks removal”
Message to youth: your basketball training will give you a mindset to study and achieve as hard as you play.