Ryan Lewis is one of Diane Modahl Sports Foundation coaches and is the Head Coach of the Factory Youth Zone and helps oversee the basketball tournaments. Ryan is a current basketball player for the Manchester Magic in the NBL Division One.
Tell me a little about what you do outside of the Foundation?
I play for Manchester Magic in the NBL Division One English basketball and I’m currently in my second season with the team. We’re doing well at the minute, around the mid-table spot! Alongside playing for the Magic, I am also an online training executive for DW sports
How did you first get involved with the Foundation?
It was through the [Manchester] Giants, DMSF had a partnership with the Giants and I was playing for them at the time. I started to do some coaching whilst still playing there before moving to the Magic, but I enjoyed it so much and saw the difference I was making that I decided to carry on after I had left the Giants.
What is your role within DMSF?
I am the head coach at the Youth Factory Zone Hub, I help oversee the basketball tournaments that we do, and I work with a lot of the kids. We see about 40 kids a week and I teach all of the basketball. We start off with skills training, we’ll do that for a bit and then we’ll go into basketball situations, through the Foundation we have found some great talent, with some even playing in the NBL now, which is great to see. Despite this though, it’s most rewarding to see the kids coming to the hubs and enjoying themselves!
Would DMSF have helped you when you were a kid?
DMSF wold have helped me as a youngster, from a young age I was put into a basketball programme, so I already had that outlet to play. If I hadn’t have had that though, then I would have just stayed at a local and community level. Through the help of DMSF, you can go onto other levels, whether that be making the next step up to the professional level. Or even if it isn’t playing, we set the foundations for other vocations in sport such as coaching or refereeing.
Where would you like to see the Foundation in a years’ time?
I want to see us reaching out to more kids, following through to the athletics, Olympic athletes, higher basketball levels, helping them with their academics, being able to support rather than showing up to just have fun. The foundation really helps with transferrable skills like confidence and motivation that can be taken from sport into academia, helping kids progress. It’s not always sports, we’ve got a couple of kids that are mentors and want to help other kids their age and it would be great to see more of that happening as well.
For any potential sponsors reading this article, what would you tell them about DMSF to get them on board?
I’d say one of the main differences that I find with Diane and the Foundation is that it has a great family feel, a great community vibe. We aren’t here to get numbers, we obviously want to get participation numbers up, but it’s about progression. I feel like everyone involved with DMSF will legitimately sacrifice their time and energy to help these kids, sponsors can know that whatever they put in; time, money and effort, it will lead to fruition of the progression of kids in the area.