Written by H4H Zim Director of Operations, Ngoni Mukukula
13- 16 December, 2010 at Prince Edward School
The ABC Basketball and Life Skills Development Camp came and went at Prince Edward School from 13-16 December, 2010.
The Camp, whose aim was to create a learning environment for top basketball athletes and coaches, was organized by Hoops 4 Hope Zimbabwe and it achieved its set objectives. Hoops 4 Hope flew in Thierry Kita from Cape Town. Kita is the South African National Team Coach. He is also the Ubuntu Coach for the Boston Celtics where he spends more than a month every year.
All said and done, coaches learned from each other as they filled up note pads but the athletes were the biggest winners. They learned from the best and had a life changing experience.
The Camp targeted boys and girls under the age group of 20 years and these were drawn from across Zimbabwe. Of the 72 that attended, 24 of them were girls.
Basketball occupied the biggest space in the program but other important life topics such as health were also touched in the Program. The athletes learned stuff from nutrition to conditioning, from HIV/AIDS to gender and from Anti- Doping to leadership skills.
On the 3rd day of the Camp, a group of 48 kids were brought from all the communities doing Hoops 4 Hope Programs. The Kids, most of them underprivileged, had a rare opportunity to be taught by the campers. For the campers it was a complete role reversal. The sight of the children all clad in the orange ‘Protect Me’ and ‘I Trust You’ tee shirts was a memorable sight. The young ones had a lot of fun too.
The Lessons Delivered
The children enjoyed a lot of song and dance and finally sat down for the famous circle time. As with the older boys and girls, Hoops 4 Hope All Stars did four lessons namely;
1. I am at risk.
A great lesson that teaches awareness of the deadly HIV/AIDS and prevention
2. Find the Ball
This talks about the awareness and fighting stigma and encourages getting tested
3. My Supporters
This talks about the importance of supporting the sick
4. The Human Knot
This lessons teaches leadership and perseverance
A Camp like the ABC Basketball and Life Skills Development Camp was overdue in Zimbabwe. A Camp like this one provides much better opportunities for interfacing with the young ones and can help in influencing a positive behavior change and will undoubtedly help the youths beat the odds.