Written by H4H Volunteer, Christine Pigott
One by one the kids begin to roll into the Crossroads Indoor Basketball center, right in the heart of Crossroads, one of Cape Town’s largest townships. From young ones barely big enough to hold the ball, to older ones who charge the hoop ready to do a layup, Hoops 4 Hope offers basketball activities for kids of all ages.
The kids are excited to play and ready to start participating in basketball drills the moment they arrive. For a majority of the kids, this is the only opportunity they will have to receive any sort of formal basket training. This week H4H has two new coaches on the court working with the kids. Lindsay from California and Leah from Ireland, both who have played basketball professionally for their colleges, have been very busy working one on one with the kids who are eager to improve their game. From shooting techniques to dribbling drills, these young ladies have been using their experience and love for the game to equip these kids with they skills they need to be successful on and off the court.
What I love most about these kids is their drive. When they put their mind to something, there is no turning back. They always show up for our programs, rain or shine, shoes or no shoes. That’s commitment. Though I’ve only been in South Africa for a little over three weeks, I feel confident in saying that all the kids we work with have bold spirits, warm hearts, and persistent minds. I feel as though I learning from them just as much as they are learning from me.
During our holiday program, we can have any where from fifty to a hundred kids per day. That’s a lot of kids and a lot of basketballs. All around me kids are doing drills, laughing, running, passing, and dribbling. It truly is a sight to behold. Even if you close your eyes, the sound is powerful and it resonates deep within you. The sound of twenty basketballs bouncing to their own rhythms, feet dashing from place to place, laughter from the girls playing hula hoop in the far distance, shouts of “Ball! Ball!” as kids call out to their teammates, and the whistle that goes off from time to time as coaches guide the kids is music to my ears.
The holiday programs will continue for another two weeks, concluding on July 15th. Until then, I’ll be listening to the natural H4H Holiday Program soundtrack.