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U.S. Embassy Press Release: empowering youth through basketball and civic education

Jun 7, 2011, 12:29 PM

Basketball is a very popular sport in The Gambia but lack of trained personnel, equipment and a covered centre to practise during the rainy season hampers its progress.

The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with the Gambia Basketball Federation (GBF), Gamtel, Gamcel, Trust Bank and Peace Corps, plans to organise a series of basketball clinics for young people, coaches, administrators and referees.

The initial one week will be on skills training and acquisition for coaches, followed by a two-week training for high school students and the National Basketball team. 

A success programme will not only spread appreciation for an American basketball, but will also focus on the role and worth of each individual in a team, women in sports, social media and internet banking.

The emphasis on individual action and teamwork will help illustrate how each citizen plays a part in their country's development - an especially critical concept as we try to increase and encourage young people's involvement in government and civil society in light of the upcoming presidential and local elections.

The event will address the MSRP goal of Enhanced Understanding of U.S. People and Policy to The Gambia and target The Gambia's youth, which make up 60 per cent of the population. 

1. Training of coaches and referees from high schools and from the GBF

2. Training of selected players from high schools to form 6 teams, which the team will train for one week. Here the newly trained coaches and referees will be actively involved and will be assigned to the different teams in the training

3. Training of the National Basketball team for one week

4. Demonstration matches will be held at the end of the training champ, which also be tied to the All-star day.

5. Monthly refresher clinic will be conducted with a tournament at the end. Team selection will continuously be done at random to increase competition and team work.

6. A one-day family with kids basketball fun day will be organised for the under-12s to introduce basketball to the very young ones and also create positive links with their families.