Jordan, NeighbourLink’s Community Worker, reflects on our recently launched basketball camp! Here’s what he said:
We’ve kicked off our summer basketball program and I’ve been pleased with the progress that we’ve made. This is the first year of our basketball program, so we didn’t really know what to expect but already in the first couple of weeks we’ve seen the positive impact that our program has had. Some of the children that we’ve had the privilege of working with have really stepped out of their comfort zone. We’ve had kids that were reluctant to tell us their name on the first day who are now sprinting to come and see us.
The typical day consists of a shoot-around period where the youth can get some shots up before programming. We then have a period of life skills where we emphasize topics such as leadership, mental well-being, motivation, and community safety. We introduce these topics through icebreakers, various activities, workshops, and guest speakers. They then move onto the basketball portion of the program where they participate in drills, skills, fitness training, and games. Both cohorts have already become better basketball players.
We have two age cohorts: ages 6-12 and 12-18 but the most fulfilling part of our program has been the interactions between these two groups. The older kids are earlier in the day but when their session is done, they never want to leave. They’ve helped us coach, support, and encourage the younger children which has been very rewarding to see. When I set out to work with youth, this was the type of impact that I envisioned. Sowing seeds into the lives of youth so that they can positively affect those around them and their community.
We’re excited to see the continued growth of the participants as we continue to roll out exciting programming. We still have great facilitators, fun field trips, workshops, and lots of basketball to look forward to!