PPI-SA was able to host many events this past year, and we would like to take an opportunity to highlight the best of the year 2013. In part one of this blog, we highlighted some great events, and we’ve got more we just couldn’t leave out! PPI-SA can sometimes face unconventional and unique circumstances that can make even a simple basketball game a challenge. This year, the staff at PPI-SA continued to be creative and innovative to overcome the many obstacles we face in order to make our program successful. This is Part 2 in a tribute to the staff and participants of PPI-SA who came together to make the year 2013 a special one.
Pro Basketball returned to South Africa!
Although not a PPI-SA program, the return of professional basketball to South Africa was definitely a top moment for us! In South Africa, basketball gets overshadowed by more popular sports such as soccer, cricket, and rugby. The Basketball National League (BNL) will provide youth basketball players in the country, including all of PPI-SA’s 600+ participants, more motivation to play the game and continue developing their skills. There are finally opportunities to look forward to for young basketball players in South Africa, and a platform for them to showcase the skills they have acquired.
We inspired youth at the Sasol Techno X conference!
In September, members of PPI-SA were invited to display the PeacePlayers brand at the Sasol Techno X exhibition in Sasolburg. Sasol, an innovative South African energy giant, is a generous supporter of PPI-SA. Sasol Techno X is an annual exhibition with displays, workshops, tours, talks and hands-on activities aimed at enthusing learners, students, and the general public about the endless possibilities and wide range of career choices that science, math, and technology offer.
The PPI-SA booth provided interactive life skills activities focusing on having self value, knowing your future goals, and the importance of sharing your goals with others who can support you. Young people in South Africa are exposed to many unique challenges and PPI-SA uses basketball as a platform to show them that it is possible to achieve your goals and dreams
“Our station had nothing to do with science and technology. It was more about the kids and their goals and future, which is just as important as choosing a career” said Ntobeko. “Using sport, we have given thousands of kids the platform to look at themselves and realize how important they are, and have prepared them to carefully plan for their future and make smart decisions.”
We created Champions for Peace teams!!
In October 2013, we dedicated the entire month to our “Champions for Peace”. These are participants who demonstrated a superior level of commitment, passion, and skill to the PPI program throughout the year. These participants had a positive attitude, were good teammates, and demonstrated an eagerness to learn and share. In short, our “Champions for Peace” are the players who we felt are most ready to blossom into the next generation of young leaders, coaches, and basketball ambassadors in their communities.
Throughout the month of October, selected participants came together from different schools to practice twice per week with the other “Champions for Peace” from their community. That all culminated with a big tournament on October 31st involving the “Champions for Peace” teams from each community: City, Umlazi, Lamontville, and Wentworth. Each community fielded both a boys and a girls team. Mixed into the game schedule were a few additional activities which encouraged players to work together with players from other teams and areas. The collaboration between kids from different communities was an inspiring sight to behold, it was definitely one of the most exciting events of the year!