FOUR Durban teenage basketball players will rub shoulders with 60 of their global counterparts as part of the PeacePlayers South Africa basketball programme in Norway, starting today.
Durban teenagers Meegan Montiere, Thetha Nxumalo, Ayanda Dlamini and Nomfundo Ngcobo showed off their basketball talent yesterday before flying to Norway for the Lead For Peace Camp, where they will share their leadership skills with teenagers from around the world.Ayanda Dlamini,14, Meegan Montiere, 15, Nomfundo Ngcobo, 18, and Thetha Nxumalo, 18, flew to Norway last night where they will attend the Lead for Peace Camp that runs until February 16.
Peace Players South Africa Marketing and Fund-raising manager Sbahle Mkhize said the players had made their mark during the programme, which was started 16 years ago to bridge the divide between Durban communities.
“We saw there was a need for our young people from different communities of townships, suburbs and more rural areas to be brought together through sports to learn, have fun and make new friends.
“The most important thing is to give them aspirations that there can be something beyond the communities they come from, where there are drugs, alcohol abuse and violence,” Mkhize said.
“We create safe spaces where the children can grow and become leaders in their communities.”
Mkhize said the programme had developed relationships with schools across the city where they introduce the sport and provide equipment and coaches, and life and leadership skills.
“They are taught discipline, respect, teamwork and communication skills,” she said.
Mkhize said the four players had traveled to Cyprus last year and would now be showcasing their leadership skills in Norway.
Ayanda, who attends Ogwini Comprehensive High School in Umlazi, said she had gained valuable life experience on the programme.
“It has helped me understand others from different backgrounds and their cultures. I look forward to being exposed to the lives of others in Norway,” she said.
Meegan, of Wentworth, who attends Aquadene Secondary School in Richards Bay, said the programme had helped her lead her peers.
“I look forward to finishing school and playing basketball,” Montiere said.
Ngcobo, who attends Mowat Park High School in Montclair, said the programme had exposed her to many new opportunities.
She said: “Going to Norway, I look forward to meeting others I do not know, as opposed to just hearing about them.”
Nxumalo, of Lamontville, said the trip would be a learning experience. “This teaches one to live with those from different backgrounds and come up with solutions to common problems,” he said.