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Young Lions Cup South leaving a legacy in Botswana
GABORONE (Botswana) - Our Youth Leadership and Basketball development project, the Young Lions Cup South has been successfully hosted in Botswana for the past 3 years.
More than help hundreds of youths to realise their leadership potential and inspire them to be change agents in their own communities, the project has left a legacy to the Botswana Basketball Association.
Botswana Basketball Association President Boineelo Hardy explains how the Young Lions Cup has affected the Association and all those involved.
Hosting the Young Lions Cup has been amazing, a real privilege and absolutely eye opening for us as a federation. It taught us how to host 3x3 tournaments. It’s a skill that we didn’t have as an association. Now we are able to register each 3x3 tournament and all players, meaning that we have rankings on the 3x3 system of play.
“Basketball For Good means using basketball to a greater end. Basketball is a sport but it is a lot more than just getting on the court and doing everything you can do to win. ”
Across the country, we didn’t have structures for U18 3x3 or even 5x5. Now we do, we have regional coordinators that can organize 3x3 games wherever they are. We had 6 coordinators in the first year, 8 in the second, and our goal this year is to have 10. Meaning that we would have 10 centres across the country that can host qualifying 3x3 tournaments for U18 girls and boys.
We have decided to start doing a round of games twice a year around the country to keep the kids playing 3x3. 3x3 is a big part of our vision. Last year we played in the African championship and we have been invited to play again this year. The goal of the association is to play at least one 3x3 event per month throughout the country.
Legacy wise, the skills gained are immeasurable and completely valuable to the association. We’ve learned a lot; we now have people able to run a full tournament on their own. We’ve also been able to benefit from a 3x3 court that we can - and have - moved around the country. We’ve gained technical things like shot clocks and 3x3 balls to help us get us started. We can now fully invest in 3x3 because we have the basics that are needed.
The ‘Basketball For Good part’ has been amazing. The Young Lions Cup has taught us how you can infuse basketball and education, now we are able to stand on our own. Yes, we have basketball, but we can also add a useful or learning element to it.
The plan for this year is to adopt a similar model of combining a 3x3 event with a basketball for good element. There will be education.
Basketball For Good means using basketball to a greater end. Basketball is a sport but it is a lot more than just getting on the court and doing everything you can do to win. It does a lot to a person’s spirit, to a person’s intellect and to the wholesomeness of a player.
This is important, it shapes the type of player that we end up with, meaning that we are now developing even more valuable leaders for the future, children who have integrity and have a good outlook on life and how to do things.
The Young Lions Cup teaches kids to be confident and believe in themselves. The youths that have been part of this program are able to express themselves and they look forward to helping other kids.
“The plan for this year is to adopt a similar model of combining a 3x3 event with a basketball for good element. There will be education.”
This year, one of our players, Winnie, who’s played in the Young Lions Cup twice, has held quite a few media interviews. She’s done very well, held her own and has her train of thought in terms of what she wants to do with her future, how she sees herself and how she’s going to do it. Because part of the workshop has been about goal setting and the like, she’s very clear when she talks about these things. The impact is amazing. The Young Lions Cup for me is the way to go, especially for small federations where you are able to use sport to make a bigger impact on the lives of players.