A few weeks ago we wrote about the inaugural Leadership Development Programme (LDP) practice of 2014 out in Umlazi. Now a second community has begun LDP programming, with Lamontville officially joining the fold last weekend. The resurgence of the LDP programme is a welcome sight, as it had been shut down over the past two years due to a lack of adequate resources. During that time, the Primary School Programme remained strong, and the Professional Development Programme for our local coaches blossomed with new opportunities. However, the link between the two, the high school LDP programme, was broken.
The LDP teams recruit students in grades 8 through 12 (ages 14-18) to receive more in-depth basketball and life skills training, as they learn to not only live healthy lives themselves but also serve as leaders within their own families and communities. Most LDP participants are graduates of the Primary School Programme and are looking to continue their relationship with PeacePlayers as they move on to high school. In addition, PPI-SA looks to its LDP programme for future coaching candidates, and many of PPI-SA’s current and former coaches were once LDP participants.
With two LDP teams now back on track, we were able to host our first official LDP game in nearly two years on Saturday in Lamontville. Interest continues to grow through marketing campaigns and word-of-mouth in the townships, and we are hearing from dozens of former PeacePlayers participants who have been without a team since graduating from primary school. The momentum is very real, and a meeting has been set for later today with a group of high school players in Wentworth that are interested in forming a Wentworth LDP team for the first time ever. Wentworth’s Primary School Programme teams have been strong for years, so the establishment of an LDP team in that community would be another huge step forward for PPI-SA.
An LDP tournament has been scheduled for May 24th, and we are also looking to feature our LDP teams at our bi-annual CityWide Tournament on June 7th, showcasing to our primary school participants that there are opportunities to continue with basketball and PeacePlayers as they move on to high school.