A retrospective on being a global, H4H supporter. . .
Written by Japanese Champion, Shin Mizuno
First of all, I stayed in Zimbabwe from 2006 to 2008 where I worked for Midland Sate University as a basketball coach. I was sent as a member of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (http://www.jica.go.jp/english/index.html).
During my two year contract, I worked primarily for the university. However, I got opportunity to work for the Zimbabwe National Men’s Basketball Team in 2007. At that time, Coach Ngoni was coaching the Zim National Women’s Team. Our friendship began there.
Both of us worked for National Team and competed in FIBA Zone 6 Game. After this competition, Coach Ngoni qualified for the All Africa’s Game in Algeria. I then helped him as his assistant and practiced with Zim National Women’s Team.
That is when he introduced his job (H4H program) to me. I was impressed because it was almost the same as what we are doing in Japan. We as ELUTLEC are a company which educates young generations through basketball. I worked for this company before I came to Zim. The company runs a basketball school and coaches children while motivating them. We find the young coaches, like university students, and educate them to be coaches. . . just like the H4H ALLSTARS!
So I ask Ngoni to be a part of H4H program. We introduced the H4H program in Gweru city, hold a coaching clinic for HIV/AIDS and a lecture for H4H coaches. They were brilliant days for me.
After a two year contract, I moved back to Japan and worked for ERUTLUC again. We produced H4H/ERUTLUC double name T-shirts to raise money to H4H. This activity is still continued now. I brought that fundraising (Almost USD $1100) to Zim and handed it to Ngoni in 2008.
Fortunately, H4H invited me to be a part of the organization at the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders 2008 & 2009 camps. It was a great opportunity for me and I’d love to go back again. In 2008, I established a club team for junior players as a part of ERUTLUC. At that time, I wanted to name this team HOOPS4HOPE, so I asked Mark and Ngoni to let us use this name (http://basketballtutor.com/school/h4hchiba/h4h-index.html).
Three years have passed since this team started. It is still a small team, but grows step by step.
My vision is that H4H will be a big and famous team, so automatically, we can gather big attention for the H4H in Africa. I hope to be able to support them more and more. Our kids love playing for H4H. They join our team because they look for a safe place to play. Some schools here don’t manage basketball teams, so they need H4H to play basketball. First of all, they join our team to play. Then they realize this team is not just a basketball team. We always tell them about Skills4Life, UBUNTU, and how to care for others. They are always learning!
Yours in Sports,