The power of sports!
As you might remember from our previous blog post about the motives for building a basketball court, we hope to improve the academic education, emotional health and social competence.
The children expressed their interest in a basketball court beforehand, so we are sure the sport will have a positive impact on their educational performance, but moreover, the Haitian government is now promoting sport championships for schools. We are happy that the state is acknowledging the power of physical education as well and that we could help one school to be part of this movement. Also, it is the plan to include more children than just the pupils of the school to help the entire community. For the carnival celebration in February, the court was already used.
Regarding health and social competence, we could experience on the ground the obvious benefits like the students working out, being active overall, making new friends, and so on. We mostly had three areas of activities: soccer, tennis and basketball.
Since the focus of our project was unclear in the beginning, the boys of the school had cleared a field in case we would build a soccer pitch.
As most of the children preferred a basketball court in the end, we went on constructing that. Nevertheless, the effort of the boys was not useless: With 4 sticks, they had replicated the posts of a soccer goal.Part of the equipment we brought included two foldable soccer goals and professional soccer balls, so the children enjoyed playing soccer even more. Of course, they also wanted to play with us and whenever possible, we would do so. Besides the responsible use of the equipment, we stressed the importance of letting all age groups play – naturally, the older children would have the authority to play on their own, but because we wanted all kids to benefit we clearly communicated including the younger children into the matches and/or taking turns when using the court. Since Marie Rose, our contact from the NGO Foi et Joie, is keeping the goals and balls, she can check upon who is actually playing.
We brought a couple of beach tennis sets and plenty of tennis balls. Since Nina and Daniel have played and/or play tennis at a high level, they could demonstrate the right technique which the children quickly picked upon.The balls could also be used to just throw and catch. Because of the limited space at the school, the children showed us the unfinished roof of the school to play. In western countries, this would be considered too dangerous, but in Haiti, it was okay as long as the kids would not be too close to the edge.
Self-explanatory, we also brought basketballs. Due to the unfinished court, we couldn’t yet play on hoops, however, the kids enjoyed just passing the balls. Moreover, we now get pictures on a regular basis which show the children playing on the court, so we are very glad they enjoy playing there.All in all, we can see several positive impacts of our project, so we are really happy. We hope that future generations can build upon this success.