CASTRIES, ST LUCIA – Louis R. Fernandes knows that great leaders make more leaders and this can inspire greater social impact. “Being a leader in my community allows me to help other young people,” he commented. Fernandes is recently returned from St Lucia where he travelled as a member of the St. Maarten’s 3X3 Basketball team to compete for the title of Antilles 3X3 Hoops Champion.
Aside from the chance to represent his country, Fernandes had a great opportunity alongside his teammates to make new friends and learn more about himself, leadership and how basketball can create change in communities.
Fernandes was one of 72 young men and women who were part of the International Basketball Foundation (IBF)’s Antilles 3X3 Hoops Final. Having won their national titles, youth from 11 countries in the Lesser Antilles gathered together for an elite basketball experience whilst also participating in a youth leadership workshop.
Reach Sports had the privilege of guiding these youth leaders on a three-day workshop which allowed them to learn about leadership, share cultural experiences and increase their knowledge of the power of basketball as a tool for development.
A real highlight of the three days was FIBA President, Mr Horacio Muratore, joining the leadership workshop and interacting with participants. He shared his journey and passion for grassroots basketball development. Mr Muratore had the following to say about the workshop:
“ The past 40 years I have always been involved in youth development. Working with young people is key for the development of basketball, but equally for the development of communities. I had the chance to talk to the kids during the Youth Leadership Workshop and even joined in on some of the activities with them. It was a very inspiring and refreshing experience.”
The competitive nature of elite sport often comes at the expense of grassroots sport and community development. This usually leads to young people being excluded from sport participation. The IBF 3X3 Hoops Final Leadership workshop is an example of how world-governing bodies could incorporate sport for development into major events thereby widening the impact.
Reach Sports Associate, Jabulani Myeza said: “We were inspired by participants and their openness to sharing challenges facing their communities. We learnt that in the Antilles, there are young basketball players who want to be champions on and off the basketball court and we look forward to seeing how they will use basketball as a tool for good in their communities.”
At Reach Sports we believe that youth have the potential to transform their lives and their communities. It never ceases to amaze us, what a powerful resource young people are. In the Pacific Islands, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom, young people who we have worked with are telling us that they are ready, that they want to be involved in decisions that will impact on their futures, but that they need their voices to be heard and they need access and opportunity.
Youth are ready! Working with great organisations such as the International Basketball Foundation we can create access and opportunities for youth to reach their potential to lead and make a difference in their communities.
The IBF worked in partnership with the Saint Lucia Basketball Federation and we would like to thank them for all their hard work in organising the event.
We celebrate the power of sport to make a difference in communities around the world.