Written by Carol Ngandu
Hoops 4 Hope Coach Thabo Marotola from Nyanga from Philipi Cape Town, was given the opportunity of a life time, from the 7th March 2012 – 19th March 2012. He and eleven other participants traveled to Washington DC and Nashville TN for an exchange program with the NCAA and Sports United. The NCAA and Sports United selected twelve coaches from South Africa to partake in this event. Of those twelve, two are from Cape Town.
Thabo has been an active member of Hoops 4 Hope since 1995. He joined the NGO right out of high school, as a volunteer. Thabo says that it’s because of Hoops 4 Hope that he is the man that he is today, and the reason why he has been blessed with many great opportunities. Thabo has worked very hard to get to where he is. Although he started Hoops 4 Hope as a volunteer, it was not long until he started attending coaching clinic, and quickly climbed his way up to his current position. Recently, Thabo became an MVP (most valuable person) in the organization, and started coaching kids in the community. Along with some other coaches, Thabo started building teams, and thus a league was formed with teams from Nyanga, Crossroads and Philippi. As the league grew, Hoops 4 Hope branched out to include kids in further communities such as Constantia, and Cape Town.
Thabo says that Hoops 4 Hope has given many kids in his community and others a way out from the negative influences around them. Hoops 4 Hope stimulates them physically and mentally, through basketball, soccer, chess and life skills. Kids from all ages come to Hoops 4 Hope, in hope of a better life. Many of them have found that, including Thabo Marotola!