Conner Washington

My name is Conner Washington and I am a professional basketball player for the Leicester Riders… Before I got to this point a lot has happened!

I started basketball at the age of 11, a significant part in my life as I lost somebody extremely close to me and I chose basketball as my way out. So I guess you could say basketball also chose me! The first time I represented the Bedfordshire county is the first time I met Lance. From the very beginning I could see literally how much he cared about making a difference in people’s lives. You would only have to speak to him for 5 minutes and you will realise how genuine this man was. Throughout pivitol points in my basketball journey Lance became a father figure for me, somebody who I could depend on to ensure I was getting the most out of every opportunity possible for basketball as he knew how passionate I became about the sport.

My debut with England under 16’s would not have been possible without the support of Lance, taking me to and from training sessions around the country and also to the airport for tournements which were held overseas. My financial circumstances growing up were not too strong so it would have been a real struggle for me to be able to attend as many training sessions as I did, ultimately resulting in my selection to represent my country in the sport that became my saviour! My first ever trail for a national basketball squad (Milton Keynes Lions) also involved the altruistic support from Lance as he would eventually take me to every single training session I had in my 3 years of playing for that team.

The relationship Lance and I had was born out of a young boy being desperate to pursue a dream and a man who just wanted to help kids excel in anything they set their mind to, not allowing anything obstacles to stand in the way of lifetime opportunities… Lance was such a significant figure in giving me the support that was necessary to continue to chase my dream of becoming a professional basketball player! I am just one example of the work Lance has done within the world, I have represented Great Britain under20’s and the Senior mens squad along my journey as an athlete, only God knows what may have been or what path I would have taken if I wasn’t supported as much as I was or given a blessing in the form of a man to help me not miss out on crucial moments of my journey… Lance was awarded the Unsung Hero award which he most sincerely deserved… Lance has created an organisation (Sports Traider) which provides disadvantaged children with the chance to have access to equiptment/clothing/tools needed to participate in a variety of sports! The list is endless and its all for the desire to see my generation and those after me succeed no matter what!

It is unbelievable the effect one man can have on your life… There is no bigger reward than to see your vision unfold in front of you, for as long as Lance is able to he will continue to allow others to breathe easy because he has lived for others whole heartedly!

I really hope he recieves another award for his incredible ability to be a humble human being.

And this is an article in the national paper about him


And this is a clip of him at the first hoops aid.


Sarah Maxwell

Lance will never know how many young peoples lives he has had a positive impact on, directly and indirectly. Thank you Lance Haggith! And your family for allowing him to support so many others! X

We first met Lance at a cheerleading squad my children, Freddy and Charlie, used to attend in 2010. We had just experienced a traumatic family split, and the way we were coping with this was getting involved in sport. Lance recognised my son’s potential in sport, particularly basketball, and invited him, there and then to attend trials for Beds County under 13’s team. This was the start of our families healing through sports, and would not have been possible without the support, advice and encouragement from Lance.

Five years down our journey, we are still coping with life’s financial and emotional challenges. However, we have had the high of Freddy playing for Northampton Saints under14, 15 and 16; being selected for East Midlands rugby at under 15 and under 16; Charlotte is now dancing at The Place in London on a CAT Academy scheme, and successfully auditioned for Trinity Laban’s first youth company; as a family we have established Luton’s first community cheerleading squad open to all youth that wish to participate, no matter what hardships they may be experiencing. It is Lances’ example that has made all this possible. Even now, while we are in family crisis, receiving CAMH support to deal with past events, Lance is still supporting us, with practical and emotional support.

Many people cross our path in life, and many people have offered help in words; however, Lance is the only person that we have met that always follows up what he says he will do, despite his own extreme personal challenges. He truly is one in a million and I cannot imagine starting my own successful cheer squad without his encouragement. His legacy continues on, and I hope that the young people we are working with in Luton Lightning Community Cheerleading will continue his amazing philosophy of making all sports available to all, no matter what their background or baggage, and helping us to help ourselves!

Ex Offender

Hello Lance,

I wanted to send you an email, to let you know how I have been getting on and how my life has changed for the better.
When I came to you, and your shop, as a result of my probation order, I had just started a 4 and a half year order as an alternative to custody, at the time I was happy that I escaped prison, and wanted to try to get my life back in order.

I had spent just under 14 years in and out of prison and had become institutionalized, my lifestyle was a miss mash of crime drugs and victims! and I was going around in circles and felt I could not find a way out of the hole I had dug for myself.

My skills lay in committing crime taking drugs and surviving in the jail system I was truly lost.
I found myself faced with the reality, either going with the help and support, or mess up again and go back to jail for more years and come out at the end of it to just start again with no help.
I put my energy and trusted the probation service with no other option really. 

Part of my order was to complete 200 hours community service at your shop Sports Traider which made me feel quite good at the time that I would be trusted around a shop I thought at first that they must have made a mistake!!

Upon getting up in the morning and going into “work” to complete my hours, I began to feel trusted which was a different feeling for me as I would usually be getting escorted through corridors and watched carefully everywhere I went this made me feel quite good about myself.

I never told any one that I knew that I was doing community service because it felt for once that I had something to get up for and on top of that I felt that I was doing some kind of good in the community by using my gift of the gab to sell sports equipment to people at a more affordable price which helps that person and their family, but also helped raise money for underprivileged and disabled youths in our own community. 

I cannot explain how this helped my self confidence even though I was working for free, to me it felt I was doing something constructive and gave me a different outlook on life that I liked at that time I think probation started to see a change in me I almost felt that they expected me to fail at some stage because I always had before but Lance, it is important to me that I share this with you because I wanted to thank you for not judging me and giving me the opportunity to do my community service in your shop. 

I wanted to let you know that that feeling of self worth that I had not felt for so long was addictive and I went on to want more of that feeling and I ended up volunteering for a drug and alcohol service for two years after I left you, they also accepted me and I think your reference helped that process. They then supported me to gain a diploma in health and social care and two years after that I started to apply for jobs. 

My criminal record is 11 pages long and I never ever thought I would really get anywhere, but what I was doing made me feel happy to now feel like the people around me that woke up everyday and lived a “normal” life.

I am now working as a support worker in a hostel for homeless kids that had similar starts as myself, I have a full contract and feel very blessed that I can now use my life experience, education and training that I gained on my journey to now support other youths to try and make the right choices in life so they do not go as far down that dark road as I once did. 

I now have twins on the way and can now stand on my own two feet put my past behind me and have a good chance to start a whole new life.

Everyday I wake up I just try my best to make the right choices and believe that it’s now my time to help others get to a better place.

Thank you for not judging me and giving me that chance I am very grateful. 


D.SPOONER (Kidsgrove Athletic)

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all concerned.

The bursary has been a great help to us. With our financial difficulties it has made the difference of Daniel being able to attend and continue his studies at the NPL Football Academy

Many Thanks
Dianne & Spooner Family

O.OAKLEY (Warrington Town)

I would like to personally thank Sport Traider for their generosisity in supplying the fantastic kit through a bursary for my son. We are very greatful and it has been a great help to us, he wears it for all of his training etc. It looks great and is essential in all weathers.

Much appreciated.

Nadeen Oakley

A.LEACH (Radcliffe Borough)

The kit bursary is a great idea for families on low income, all the lads look very professional and smart, without the bursary I know I would have struggled to purchase the full kit and also having my other son joining the academy in September 2016 it would be even harder for me to purchase the kits.

Thank you for your help.

Sharon Leach

J.PROLE (Mossley)

We are thankful for Sports Traider for providing the bursary for the kit for me and my team mates at Mossley FC. Without their help it would not have been possible for us all to look smart in training and on the way to the games, it’s really good to see all the other teams looking smart also, it gives a real professional feel to being on and off the pitch.

Thanks Sports Traider

Joe Prole

Reverend Augustino Lyimo

I have personally known the above named for more than 3 years; Lance has been working in partnership
with our organisation, since we are a charity and he has a passion for helping the less advantaged. Our
organisation has feeding programs like food bank, S
unday breakfast for the homeless amongst others, and
Lance helps by often dropping food, clothes, furniture and sports games equipment. His involvement and
support to our charity has been of a great impact. Lance is blessed with connection of organisations
company which through Lance they can support people with less fortune and help lots of communities
projects. Most of what has been achieved is because of his effort of making the awareness of the needy. Most
of what has been distributed to the needy t
hrough our charity, Lance has played a major role. We share the
same ethos since his charity Sports Trader is geared towards helping the young people in the community, an
approach we esteem highly in our organisation.
He has also frequently donated furniture and sports equipment to our charity, which is then given to the
homeless and those families who cannot afford to purchase similar items from the shops. All through his
relationship with our organisation he has prove
d to be a man of integrity and honesty. He has a strong drive
for the needy and less fortunate.
We all at Jesus Celebration Centre are proud to be associated with Lance and we fully endorse any projects
he undertakes. It is amazing what Lance has done th
roughout this country by helping many from all sought
of needs, I feel it needs to be appreciated and be made know. The truth is need such heroes.
Feel free to ask for any further information.

Don Weerasirie Senior Youth and Community Work.

To whom it may concern.

During my time as senior Youth and Community Worker at Kempston Youth Centre, Lance Haggith has been an enormous help in supporting the young people aged 11 – 25 at the centre through his coaching of basketball and other sport such as football and indoor cricket and various ball games. Lance undertook several evening sessions and worked closely with multi-cultural young people who were mainly from a disadvantaged/ marginalised background. He also coached young people who attended day sessions from local schools who worked in partnership with the youth centre. His work included coaching young people from autistic groups during day sessions.  Over the years, his professionalism and ability to coach young people has had a tremendous impact on their lives. Through his coaching, young people have not only gained skills in basketball but have also learned skills in discipline, respect and communication.  Many of the young people who were inspired by his coaching have gone on to play basketball and other sport at different levels. One such young person, Connor Washington, recently featured on Beds on Sunday, has excelled to playing basketball for Milton Keynes Lions before going to America to play in the NCAA Div. 2 in Missouri. He then joined the Leicester Riders and has been a star player. Lance has been a huge inspiration not only to young people but to all in the community. I have found him immensely professional in whatever he undertakes and is extremely passionate in helping young people succeed in sport.