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2017-11-09 06:00
African Grassroot Hoops Basketball players recently returned home from an exchange programmme in the United States.

African Grassroot Hoops Basketball players recently returned home from an exchange programmme in the United States.

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African Grassroot Hoops Basketball players recently returned home from an exchange programmme in the United States of America!

Ten female high school basketball players from the townships have recently returned from the USA on a Sports Diplomacy program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

These sports-themed programs offer participants the opportunity to interact with Americans and experience American society, culture, and values firsthand.

The activities include sessions on nutrition, strength and conditioning, gender equity in sport, sport and disability, and team building. Special emphasis is placed on the visitors’ development of personal action plans that they use upon their return home.

Sports diplomacy uses the universal passion for sports as a way to build relations between the United States and other countries, transcending linguistic and sociocultural differences and bringing people together. Participation in sports teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their lives.

Public Affairs Officer Ellen Masi noted the importance of the long relationship between Americans and South Africans across many sectors, and emphasized that “sports is the great equalizer, offering opportunities for young people in our two countries to learn from each other and share experiences, passions, and hopes for the future.” African Grassroot Hoops coach Vincent Ntunja said, “Growing up in the townships having to deal with social ills such as high rate of crime, teenage pregnancy, drugs, HIV on a daily basis, we never imagined that we could be travelling to United States of America.

The trip was educational and we gained a lot of insight because every day felt like a new adventure for the girls. We are grateful for the opportunity, thank you to the U.S. State Department, U.S.

“Consulate, Sports Visitors Program and [implementing partner] George Mason University for making the dream possible. All that we’ve learnt we will plant it back in our own communities for the betterment of others and sports development in South Africa. As an organization, we pledge that African Grassroot Hoops will continue to grow leaders.”

Today , Thursday, November 9 at 4:30 p.m. at the American Corner in Cape Town, which is located inside Central Library at the corner of Darling & Parade Streets, the young participants and their coach will share perspectives on their experience in the United States.

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