Good Times at the 2014 PPI-SA Retreat and Training

PPI-SA's Ryan Douwie leads a training session for coaches at Shongweni Dam.

PPI-SA’s Ryan Douwie leads a training session for coaches at Shongweni Dam.

On the shore of the lake sat an assortment of logs, rope, and empty plastic barrels.

“Build a raft,” said our instructor in a tone that made it sound as if he had just asked us to tie our shoes.

And with that, our group of six office staff and six coaches turned into 12 novice raft builders. It was just one of the many team-building exercises that made up part of our 3-day training at Shongweni Dam. Staff and coaches also navigated the lake in canoes, climbed rocks, jumped off said rocks (into the water), went on a game drive, and competed against each other in a huge scavenger hunt.

Raft-building was a success!

Raft-building was a success!

Coach Yamkela Nako points out some zebras on the game drive.

Coach Yamkela Nako points out some zebras on the game drive.

A family of giraffes spotted on our game drive.

A family of giraffes spotted on our game drive.

These fun activities dotted the daily agenda along with PPI-specific training sessions focused on our history, philosophy, and strategies for success. Even our down time was fun, which usually involved sitting around a campfire, cooking together, or watching replays of NBA and NCAA basketball games on the projector screen.

We had to cook our own food on the first night at Shongweni Dam. It was a team effort.

We had to cook our own food on the first night at Shongweni Dam. It was a team effort.

Coaches watch the 2013 NCAA Championship Game during some down time.

Coaches watch the 2013 NCAA Championship Game during some down time.2014

The three days were geared towards becoming closer as a family, learning to work together, and preparing for the start of our 2014 PPI-SA basketball programme, which begins in primary schools this week.

The three days at Shongweni Dam were supplemented by two additional days at Umlazi Indoor Sportscentre, where coaches took to the court to learn more about the game and how to successfully coach it to children who may have never even seen a basketball before in their lives.

Ntobeko teaching the coaches how to coach shooting.

Ntobeko teaching the coaches how to coach shooting.

Coaches learn one of our life skills activities during a basketball session at Umlazi Indoor Sportcentre.

Coaches learn one of our life skills activities during a basketball session at Umlazi Indoor Sportcentre.

All in all, the week of training was a huge success. It was full of fun, bonding, learning, and experiencing new things, which is also what we aim to deliver to our participants this year on the basketball court. It was the perfect week to use as a launching pad into our 2014 programme.

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