This week starts a brand new programming year at PPI-SA. Schools all over Durban will be having tryouts to create PPI teams of 12 boys and 12 girls. We focused a lot of time and energy into getting the best coaches for our program. The same goes for our participants, we want quality kids who believe in the PPI way and invest themselves in the program. Based on this, participants are chosen based on attitude and effort as much as their basketball skill level.
A lot of hard work has gone into the past 3 months, to prepare ourselves for this week. We start up this year with a brand new curriculum, coaching staff, and drive for excellence. This new programming year will be a great test for us to see where our program actually stands.
A very important difference between this year and last year is that our office staff is now heavily involved on the ground providing support to our coaches, school reps, and participants. This kind of support is a key ingredient to our success. As an organization we pledge to “bridge divides” and “develop leaders”. In PPI-SA we want to practice what we preach. As an office staff, our goal is to create an open line of communication and trust with our coaches. By providing them support on and off the basketball court, we are both bridging divides and developing them as leaders in their communities.
This new year and new program got me thinking about the PPI Cheer we do to end each practice. The first line says “Who are we?” With all the new changes we have made, does that change who we are?
The answer came to me yesterday at a tryout at Glenmore Primary School, one of our long time partner schools in the “City” area. There are so many kids trying out we had to split the tryout into 3 different days. Bright and eager faces filled the court, and the smiles on their faces said it all. One 7th grader who is returning from last year as a PPI participant insisted we do the PPI cheer to end the tryout. Her passion and enthusiasm is something I won’t soon forget. The second line of the cheer defines who we are, and what we will always strive to be for our participants. No matter how much we change, this part of PPI-SA remains in the heart of our organization. “Who are we?” The answer is, “Family”.
PPI-SA is a big family made up of our staff, schools, program participants, and everyone involved in our program. We thank each and every person involved in our program, you are all family, and we have a lot to look forward to.