Basketball in Mwanza
Basketball is the second most popular sport in Tanzania. This is not only reflected in the lifestyle of many youths, but also by the many basketball logos found on local buses. However, due to a lack of courts and clubs, only a small number of children can actively enjoy basketball in Mwanza.
The club basketball which we found here is not comparable with structures known from Europe or America. The basketballers met daily on one of the few concrete courts in the late afternoon. There were no training structures and players usually just played a game after a short warm-up. The courts had several cracks and were also quite rough, so that balls usually did not last long. Since balls are very expensive for the people here, the teams often just had one ball at a time. There were no organized youth structures either.
Despite of these conditions the enthusiasm and solidarity among the players was very inspiring. Also the players in the two youth teams enjoyed every minute on the court, regardless of whether they had shoes or not.
1. Building Courts
In the upcoming years we want to build three basketball courts per year, as an integrated part of our sports centers. Such a courts costs about 12,500 Euros and includes a passing training area next to the court. The court will get lights for the evening hours and a fence will be built around it. For about 30 Euros you can donate one square meter to the next court. In the video Rogasian, our charity leader, explains the steps in building a court here.
2.) Establishing Club Structures
We want to establish one well organized club per court. It will have teams of all ages and both genders, similar to clubs in Europe and America. We equip the clubs with training materials and also train the coaches in organizational matters and pedagogy. Club sports is a great medium to mentor young people in becoming adults of good character. Our biggest challenge is to establish specific training times, since the understanding of time is different in the Tanzanian culture than Europe or America.
We are Tanzanian and International basketball ambassadors who have all spend several months in Mwanza. Quickly we realized how much we can achieve together. The close collaboration and right interpretation of each one’s culture is key in establishing such structures successfully. We must be open to learn from each other.
Already a small donation can make a big difference here. For 15 Euro we can buy a ball which lasts long on the rough surfaces and for 30 Euro you contribute 1 square meter to the next court.