Welcome, Waterloo!

PPI-SA staff members pose with a group of Waterloo students on their new court.

PPI-SA added a new member to its family last week with a court launch at Waterloo Primary School in the community of Waterloo, South Africa. Situated in a landscape of rolling hills north of Durban, Waterloo represents a brand new area for the PPI-SA programme, which currently works in the south, west, and center of Durban.

The court launch was an event celebrated by the entire school. The launch kicked off with a school-wide assembly that featured singing, dancing, and other showcases of talent from Waterloo students and staff, followed by speakers representing PPI-SA, Waterloo Primary, and Sibaya Casino, whose generous financial contributions made the partnership between PPI-SA and Waterloo possible.

Waterloo students eagerly await the ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new basketball court.

Following the assembly, it was time to hit the new court for some hoops. 45 grade 6 students were selected to participate in the inaugural basketball session at the school, while others eagerly gazed out classroom windows to catch a glimpse of the action. For many of the students, it was their first experience with the game.

After some exciting dribble relay races, students took part in team-building activities such as “Magic Hat”, a game where teams must communicate with each other to find the most efficient way to transport their teammates across an imaginary river. Then it was back to basketball for an energy-filled game of “Scramble”, where students got to test-out their newly acquired dribbling, shooting, and passing skills. To wrap up the events on the court, local gym Virgin Active provided a trainer to lead the participants in a group exercise session made up of a variety of dance moves set to some of South Africa’s favorite house beats.

PPI-SA’s newest players take part in a dribble relay at the Waterloo court launch

Though basketball and life skills programming has reached an end-of-the-year break for most schools, PPI-SA will continue holding training sessions in Waterloo throughout the month of November. When the new school year starts in January, Waterloo will be prepared to enter both a boys and girls team into the primary school league where the teams will have the opportunity to travel and host teams from other communities that PPI-SA serves.

PPI-SA is grateful to all who made contributions and sacrifices to make this new partnership possible, and wishes the best of luck to the new Waterloo teams!


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