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Jul 7, 2020

A Youth Summer Basketball Camp in the City

Summer camps have been late to start this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in fact, a number of organizations will not be conducting the popular programmes. But over at the Mexico Sports Center, a basketball camp is ongoing. Young children up to eighteen years old are fully engaged on the court, honing their skills to perfect their game. The wholesome camp is organized by the Light and Peace Basketball Foundation. News Five’s Duane Moody stopped in.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Since last week Monday, a few dozen children have been engaged in a youth summer basketball camp at the Mexico Sports Center next to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City. The numbers continue growing as children as young as six and as old as eighteen are learning the fundamentals of the sport. It is organized and managed by the Light and Peace Basketball Foundation and will go on for another five weeks. Coach Rupert Brown says that the sessions also teach the participants life skills.

 

Rupert Brown

Rupert Brown, Coach, Youth Summer Basketball Camp

“At this camp, the kids are learning a holistic way of life through sports. We try to get to them mentally, physically and spiritually. We are not trying to impose our spirituality on anybody, but it is important to have God in your life. So we try to be well-rounded with the kids—speak on their education, speak on their health and speak on their mental welfare. It is vital and what myself and Coach Rhys are trying to do is change the culture of basketball here in Belize, bring back that genuine love at a young age for the sport whereby the kids are very interested in learning these skills and applying them in not just basketball, but in life—teamwork, leadership skills, being able to have a lot of self-confidence. These are things that we try to have them in still in themselves, being a part of a team, knowing how to apply yourself when you are in a surrounding with peers because we know that having the right attitude and character takes you far in life.”

 

…and the participants were enthused. Boys and girls are part of this camp and as we found out their love for the sport is inspired either by a family member or by their favourite semi-pro athlete.

 

Emaun Marin

Emaun Marin, 10-Year-Old Participant

“I came to the camp to get better and learning, to get better at playing it. I played it since I was six.”

 

Duane Moody

“What skills are you learning?”

 

Emaun Marin

“I am learning how to defense and how to shoot the ball into the hoop.”

 

Kaitlin Mitchell, 12-Year-Old Participant

“Basketball is one of my favourite sports. Most of my relatives in the family play basketball so it is like a passed down tradition of love. I decided to join it because one of my friends are here and they told me about the socialization and the skills that the coaches give us and I felt like that was really good for me to get out there to be one of the basketball players.”

 

Jacob Espat

Jacob Espat, 12-Year-Old Participant

“I have been developing a love for the sport since I was like in kindergarten. I have been loving the sport since then and it’s my favourite sport. I have been learning how to dribble, shoot, pass; I have been taught from way before and they are teaching me the stuff that I already know so I am like more advanced.”

 

Coach Brown says that some of the participants demonstrate real talent and potential in the future of the sport.

 

Rupert Brown

“Belize is filled with talent. There is a lot of Devin Daly and a lot of Darwin “Puppy” Leslie and a lot of Ras Brown and a lot of Coach Rhys—a lot of big players around. Right now at a young age, I have at least six potential youths between the ages of six and nine that are potential stars and you can see it in them because of two things: they love the game and they love to work hard, they love challenging themselves at a young age. So you know that they will develop.”

 

There is still space so parents can head over to the Mexico Sports Center to register their children in the youth basketball camp. Duane Moody for News Five.


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