The final day of camp, and our final country has arrived. The morning is hectic as some of the team prepares to leave for the airport at 4:30am, the rest stays back to close the day. We arrive at the gym to see our final 50 young and eager faces ready to take on the challenge and become one of our all-stars today. After several heated games, it is easy to see how far these players have progressed since their first day. They now have an understanding of the skills and techniques it takes to play and utilize their size and physique to its full potential. The camp is a half day and ends with our group chant, pictures and Masai and the coaches speaking to the kids.
In the afternoon we visited the Tshwaragano Primary School where we spoke to almost 200 kids between the ages of 10 and 13. Some of these kids are orphans, while others are underprivileged – but the energy they emit is electric and Jama and Masai’s exercises brought many smiles, laughter and excitement. After showing the kids that even at their young age they are capable and worthy to be leaders, the group went outside of the classroom to plant three commemorative trees for their garden.
In the evening, the closing Gala for the camp took place. The Honorable Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng, provided a speech that included “The camp is an important milestone for the country and not just for basketball. The program covers two sectors under my ministry and these are youth and sports. Botswana’s youth and sport sectors have come a long way since we attained independence in 1966. Over the 50 years, the Government has made deliberate effort to nurture and grow the youth and sports sectors.” The Gala included a choreographed basketball demonstration from the campers, short speeches, entertainment and an awards ceremony.
Thank you to Quess Capital, Botswana Basketball Association, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture and the Botswana National Sport Commission on making our inaugural camp a success in Botswana.