By NY Staff
Promoting Youth Civic Engagement, a United States International Development Agency-funded project administered by AMIDEAST, concluded a four-day community basketball coach training at the 22 May Club in Sana’a from February 6-9. Through the training, PYCE trained 25 youth from Sana’a 18 from Marib.
Andrew Gordon, Julie Younnes and the Cultural Affairs Officer for US Embassy, Adam Sigelman, took part in the training program and taught the participants on the principals of basketball as well as refereeing and coaching basics.
The training also focused on larger concepts of sport beyond the fundamentals as it helped the participants to learn how to use sport as a tool to encourage community service among young people; how coaches can serve as mentors in their community; how to use sport to develop leadership among young women and men; and how to encourage teamwork and promote togetherness on diverse sports teams.
As a result, the program is beginning to build a network of male and female leaders committed to harnessing the power of sport for the greater good. The graduates of program will now return to their communities as basketball coaches and referees to spread the sport and values learned during the training.
When asked about the program, Mr. Gordon said, “we are targeting both boys and girls who have the desire to be basketball team leaders because the game brings enthusiasm and inspiration to players. The reaction of trainees was positive as shown through their excitement during the program. “Our main goals are to make people come together, smile, share thoughts and simply be in harmony,” Mr. Gordon concluded.
A large reason for the training’s success was that the program was developed to respect the cultural norms as the trainees were split into boy and girl groups with their own court for practicing basketball. “We respect cultural customs understand its significance, so we have the girls practice inside and the boys outside,” Gordon said.
Adam Sigelman, mentioned that they are trying to put together a strong boy and girl teams so that the Embassy can host them for a game, despite the difficulties facing Yemen. He hopes that a similar training will be held in Aden in the near future.