'Don't close down our club'
Parents of youngsters who go to an after-school sports club are hoping to overturn a decision to axe it.
The Southfields Basketball Club has been running for more than 25 years, but is due to shut down in February.
Leicester City Council has decided to stop funding the club, which meets every Friday afternoon at the Southfields Drive Sports Centre on the Saffron Lane estate.
There are about 30 youngsters, aged five to 16, who travel from across the county to play.
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Tracy Carter's daughter Grace, seven, is a member and her son Kacey, 16, used to attend the club and has gone on to earn an apprenticeship with the Leicester Riders.
Tracy, who lives in Vernon Road, off Saffron Lane, Leicester, said: "We were absolutely gutted when we found out the club was to close. It has been going for so long and the children love it.
"We know it only costs the council £1,500 a year to run so the council will not save very much by getting rid of it, and the benefits are huge. It keeps the kids fit and Kacey hopes to be able to make a career from basketball.
"We want the council to change its mind."
Grace said: "I really love the basketball club. I am sad because I can't go any more."
She has written a letter to the council asking it to save the club.
Grace and the other children pay about 50p an hour to attend. Parents have said they would be willing to pay more to keep it running.
Teresa Wright, from Desford, whose eight-year-old son Aston attends the club, said: "He was gutted. Basketball has become his thing and he chooses it over football. We wouldn't mind paying more but we can't do it without the council."
The parents are now asking city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to rethink the decision.
A council spokesman said that Government funding for after-school clubs no longer goes to councils, but to schools.
A council spokesman said "We recognise the value of out-of-school clubs, such as Southfields Basketball Club, in supporting children's learning and well-being.
"Over the past few months, we have been working with schools and the staff who currently deliver Southfields Basketball Club to consider what options might be available.
"One idea was to develop a social enterprise but, unfortunately, no option was found to be viable."
Sir Peter said: "We've been trying to match up the organisations with schools and have been successful in a number of cases but not, so far, with this one. I hope we can persuade a school to pick this up and I will work with the ward councillors to try to do that."