Full Court Press
Sep 28, 2022
Three years ago, Le Korsa built a basketball and tennis court next to Thread and the soccer field in Sinthian, so that more people in the village — especially young girls — had access to sports. While soccer has long been popular in the village, and Le Korsa has hosted an annual soccer tournament at Thread since 2015 for regional teams, there were no other sports facilities in the village until we built this court.
To maximize its use, each year since 2019 we have invited coach Maissa Fall from the Tambacounda Basketball Association, and tennis pro Lamine Keita from Dakar, to run a free sports camp for hundreds of boys and girls. We donate the equipment—racquets, balls, shoes—and provide food. The coaches teach the children skills and drills, then help them compete in scrimmages at the end of each session, which are always full of laughter and teamwork.
Because of the village’s isolation, this camp is one of the few opportunities to formally compete, or to just shoot hoops, without traveling to Tambacounda, 60km away, where there are basketball courts, but no tennis facilities. The camp has been a huge success: hundreds of children have been coming from Sinthian and other local villages to pick up a new sport or refine their already solid groundstrokes and jump-shots, and just have fun in late summer.
Ryan returned this past August to teach lacrosse alongside his son, Daegan, who plays at the college level. The pair raised money to bring a host of equipment to Sinthian, which they then donated, and they are already coming back in November to run another lacrosse camp. Lacrosse is a growing sport in Africa, and we could have never foreseen that a basketball and tennis court could help it grow in Sinthian, but we’re thrilled it’s happening.
If you would like to help all of these sports programs grow, we hope you will join us by making a donation. Athletic shoes are often the greatest need for children in Sinthian, and even a small donation can help us buy more shoes. Thank you.