This past weekend, in cooperation with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Centre for the Support of Peer Education (CSPE), the PPI – SA coaches and managers sharpened their ability to effectively use basketball as a teaching tool for more serious conversations, addressing topics like child abuse, child rights, and HIV/AIDS. These trainings are at the core of PPI – SA’s work: through basketball, PPI – SA creates a safe enviornment for youth, where healthy lives are constantly promoted and an atmosphere of trust is built within each team of players and coaches.
Additionally, about half of all PPI – SA coaches have gone through this program themselves, lending them more credibility and an easier avenue to establish trust with their players to speak about topics like HIV and AIDS. Furthermore, the sustainability of our program is fortified when our former players cycle to coaches, raising the credibility of our own program as they return to invest their time to teach what they have learned. It’s the trust that derives from these strategies that allows the honest discussion of very sensitive – sometimes even taboo – topics, and helps differentiate PPI – SA from many similar nonprofits.
The training welcomed coaches from all our SA divisions, from downtown Durban to the area’s 2nd largest township, Umlazi. The coaches warmed up with teambuilding exercises, then split into groups to simulate the life skills sessions that coaches will teach their players throughout the semester. Overall, the two day training was considered a success by our life skills team and our coaches who took part.
The two long days of heavy teaching and planning were topped off with two healthy portions of briyani, the ever-popular Indian dish found throughout the Durban area. If the coaches were not already full with information, the briyani surely did the trick.