This week blog is written by uMlazi Area Coordinator Thobani “G Pain” Ngubane.
It was a beautiful, sunny, Durban day on the 1st of June 2019 where PeacePlayers South Africa hosted its 32nd City Wide Tournament. The event was a celebration and display of the hard work that the participants and coaches have been working on in the first half of the year through weekly life skills and basketball sessions and cross community Peace League games. This bi-annual event brings together over 500 youth from 22 primary schools (aged 9-13), 6 high schools/community teams (aged 14-18) that are coached by youth mentors (aged 18-25) in the PeacePlayers core programmes that we run throughout the year from the areas of uMlazi, Lamontville, Wentworth, City, Molweni and Cottonlands. In addition, we also invited approximately 100 youth from external schools, other NPOs and community teams from YMCA PMB from Ugu District, CAST organization from Pinetown District and Stanger KwaDukuza Basketball Association from KwaDukuza District.
The event started with the scheduled warm up facilitated by the one and only Mr. Herba-Herba, Thembinkosi Zulu and team building activities facilitated by our incredible coaches, court captains and other volunteers; this was a way to promote interaction between youth from different schools. What was most unique about the mid-year tournament is that children compete in mixed teams throughout the day, mixed in schools and gender to further facilitate interaction with each other, build trust and truly epitomizes the true essence of the PeacePlayers South Africa programme in promotion of gender equality and team cohesion.
As fun as the day was, it is also very long with many pieces moving at the same time to make sure that all 58 scheduled games including semi-finals and finals are played in 8 basketball courts on time and that participants, coaches, volunteers and all the officials get time to have lunch as well. The assistance of the DJ playing really good music throughout the day helps to keep the momentum going and every one of their dancing mode.
At the end of the day we both Primary School and High School teams are crown Champions and we also give out few special awards to participants that demonstrate the PeacePlayers Spirit Award and PeacePlayers Way Award.
Special thanks to our partners Laureus Sport for Good South Africa for making the day possible with financial support, Spring Lights Gas for the Leadership Development Programmes (LDP) playing kits, KZN Department of Sport & Recreation for donating medals and trophies, Code Makers for spending their day teaching our participants about coding and creating their own educational games, Community Media Trust for Sexual Health Education, Zero2Five for donating 600 Future Life Dual Nutritional packs for all our participants, Glenwood Spar for giving us a discount with food purchase and our service providers. The communities we work in, our schools, principals, school reps, teachers, all our super awesome participants, our guests and friends from other organisations and schools, our INCREDIBLE Volunteers in lovely green t-shirts whom the day would not be possible without, and many other people that contribute on the daily to make it possible for us to do what we absolute love. #itscooltobeapeaceplayer #32CityWideTournament #32CityWide #PeacePlayersSA please visit our social media to see more pictures and videos: #Facebook @PeacePlayersSouthAfrica and #Instagram @peaceplayers_sa
“Bridging divides through collaborative teamwork using the sport of basketball”