In early June, the H4H Strike Team was fresh from the Eastern Highlands of Mutare, where they left a message of good hope.
The welcome in Mutare on Saturday the 5th of June 2010 was thunderous as the Hoops 4 Hope Strike Team was met and introduced by Mutare Girls High School Captain, School Peer Leader, teachers and the All Star Manager and volunteers. The team went to work right away, entertaining and teaching 91 passionate students. The Strike Team reached the top of their game quickly because the participants were a good mix. See, to get the best out of the H4H Strike Team is easy.
Here is the recipe: Take energy filled participants and mix that with zeal, good environment and good weather. Then add a dose of participant numbers and mix that together. The result is the best fuel ever, discovered to drive the Strike Team. However, with this recipe I have to constantly remind them to go easy on the pedal. This was the atmosphere in Mutare… simply electric! The number of the participants kept growing as other students started joining as soon as they heard the cheers. Life at a boarding school can be quiet and no one wants to pass on a chance to mix, mingle and have fun. A total number of 118 boys and girls attended the Girls High School Camp in the end.
It was a great crowd and the Strike Team did not disappoint. Martin and Forward stole the show at the Girls High with their energy. The most popular song was the “..tion … tion” song. Every word mentioned in the song must end with “.. tion”. The song goes, ‘ auya ma tion… tion. (here comes the … tion … tion song) Ma election, corruption, intimidation, discrimination, correction and education, etc. The rest of the song is just creativity where participants throw in favorite words. The youths were crazy for this song.
Norest ran the “I am at Risk” Life Skills lesson. It was very popular due to its action and participatory nature. The H4H Strike Team also ran a quick basketball session after the life skills. Then it was time to donate a few basketball items, ranging from shoes, vests and balls.
In the afternoon, the team was then taken away to another venue about 30 KM away in Dangamvura. There, we met with some of the most down to earth, poor kids anyone can ever meet. Close to 100 kids had waited for the Strike Team eagerly. This crowd was made of kids that come from the underprivileged communities of Mutare. This is the kind of group that gave Hoops 4 Hope our last name – Hope. Duncan Shenje and Menard ran away with Dangamvura show. The team finished off by donating a lot of clothes and shoes and balls.
We received a nice thank you from one of the female participants. She said their dream was to play against teams from the advantaged communities. ‘With this kind of support maybe one day we may beat them’ she said. From there it was time to wind down and return to Harare. Thanks again Hoops Intl. for the great support.