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Zim Does Best of the Best!

Written by Zim Country Director, Ngoni Mukukula
The Best of the Best basketball tournament for Harare schools took place this year on November 25th, 2011 here in the capital under a different atmosphere.  Times have been tough for H4H this year, so questions to proceed with the tournament or cancel arose. Unanimously, Harare decided to brave it and go on with the event. Management Committees were set up and volunteers were recruited. The Marketing and Fundraising Team walked through the most challenging yet interesting road. They designed and delivered proposals to different companies and waited for responses. The days kept counting down and clearly we were running out of time.

Then one afternoon a lady called on behalf of Bon Marche, a local and leading Supermarket, and said they were keen on helping out a few schools with food, water, fruits, caps and tees.  This was clearly the best news of the month judging by the excitement that generated in the office. Bon Marche helped us to break new ground and in the following days a company called Well Pure gave us water for all 500 participants and officials. Then the marketing team brought in more tee shirts, pens and rulers.

From that time on the tournament was set. To build hype we involved our local media. They really find Hoops 4 Hope programs worthwhile. A couple of articles came out in the local papers and our TV previewed the games.

Yoni Marmostein from Hoops 4 Hope Canada and Lala Ketelo’s (S. Africa) visit to Hoops 4 Hope Zimbabwe was timely. We built our cause around H4H, the kids, and the two of them. On the day of the tourney 26 Schools supported us by coming. We used two venues: Queen Elizabeth School ( named after the Queen of England) and Girls High School and the two venues provided a total of 4 courts. 480 kids took part under the close watch of more than 90 Volunteers that included H4H All Stars. It was a great tournament that ran on time and was extensively covered by our local media. Our important stake holders came and witnessed the event. The kids had so much fun! Almost every kid took something home no matter how small it might have been. Some kids won games. Some won lessons. Some kids may have won both games and lessons, well and good. Importantly, all won by merely participating!

November the 25th’s proceedings justified our decision to go on with the tournament. It was one of those events that reminded our All Stars of the importance of their contribution to society. H4H Harare finished the day a winner too! We were all revived and re- energized . Mark(Crandall) was overjoyed at the sight of us here in Harare, learning how to take our first baby step towards sustainability.