PeacePlayers South Africa’s Friendship Games took place roughly over a month ago and it turned out to be a huge success. These games were presented by Ed and Penelope Peskowitz and were hosted at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Howard College – Old Mutual Sports Hall on the 24th and 25th of August. Over 170 high school participants and 60 coach-mentors from Durban and KZN areas took part in this two-day event. On Saturday, the 24th of August there were basketball, leadership and team building stations along with games and guest speakers. On Sunday, the 25th of August we had our 3rd Annual Girls Basketball Festival Tournament to commemorate South African Women’s Month paired with a Boys Three-Point Shooting Contest throughout halftimes of the tournament. It was a powerful and inspiring experience to see youth from various backgrounds display unity through the game of basketball. The most powerful message came from the student participants when we provided a platform for them to express their minds.
As indicated above, PPSA made a 3m x 10m vinyl banner with our logo and outlines of numerous hands. Throughout the games we asked that our participants collaborate with each other and write down what they think it will take to unite South Africa in these hands. All of the quotes provoked proud emotions from the coaches and parents who read them. One coach vividly recalled watching Westville Girls High win a game on Sunday morning versus Umlazi/Molweni Girls. Shortly after this game, these teams formed a circle behind the stands facilitated by one of our coach-mentors where they bonded and shared ideas before writing on the poster. It was amazing to see the transition from competitors to PeacePlayers. Our goal is for them to realize that they were PeacePlayers all along. It’s our duty to continuously give them these platforms to express their minds.
One day we’ll take this banner to Premier’s of every South African province and eventually the President of the country! This banner will be present at our 33rd City Wide Tournament on the 26th of October at Hoy Park Sports Grounds. This is PPSA’s bi-annual event that brings over 600 youth in our core programs together and approximately 50 youth from external schools. These schools participate in a tournament where one girls team and one boys team in each division will be crowned a champion. Please find your invite below!