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Sep 6, 2012

Restore Belize’s Midnight Games to bring neighborhoods together

Midnight Basketball started in the 1990’s. Not many social activities were taking place, so the concept was designed to keep young people socially active amongst various neighborhoods. And in this crime ridden era, when neighbors are now referred to as associates and neighborhoods called rivals, Restore Belize felt it was time to reintroduce the concept to bridge the widening gap in local communities. And so tonight at seven inside the ITVET compound, the finals for the Midnight Basketball will take place. According to Mary Vasquez, Executive Director for Restore Belize, the public is invited to the final games.


Mary Vasquez, Executive Director, Restore Belize

“The first tournament that we’ve run has been about four weeks and we’ve run it in three different locations simultaneously. So this week we have the championships and that is being held at the ITVET court. So the first three weeks, we had in each of three neighborhoods in the city, we had four teams competing to see who would be the head of that area. And so now tonight we will see who is overall leader and so we are pretty excited. It’s been a really, really positive experience for the neighborhoods and some of these neighborhoods, the females, the children, the young people; they are not used to seeing stuff happening in their neighborhood at night that they can come to and feel safe. So they are already asking us when you’re gonna do the next one; when you’re gonna do the next one.”


Jose Sanchez

Mary Vasquez

“It’s called midnight basketball, but what time does the event actually occur?”


Mary Vasquez

“It starts at seven and it runs to about midnight—it all depends how the games progress. A couple nights, we’ve had the guys ask if they can carry on pass midnight, but we pretty much stop by midnight.”


Jose Sanchez

“I know these guys have a lot of fun, but what are the prizes that they are actually going to win?”

Mary Vasquez

“Well let me give you the cash value of these prizes; it is not necessarily cash prizes because we’ve gotten donations of different types. The first place is a value of two thousand, second place one thousand seven hundred and the third place is a value of one thousand five hundred.”


Jose Sanchez

“Can anyone come out and watch the games being played?”


Mary Vasquez

“Yes anyone can. It’s really designed primarily around a neighborhood activity. So in each neighborhood that we played in, you would see folks from the neighborhood come out.”


The main sponsor of the midnight basketball is BTL.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Restore Belize’s Midnight Games to bring neighborhoods together”

  1. Rod says:

    This is so idiotic you need to restore Belize through education instead of wasting time playing ball how about making sure all these guys are in school give them help them with tuition with tutoring with books and help keep them in school this is how you restore Belize not by some stupid basketball that means nothing .

  2. restore to what says:

    how about putting them to paint over all the graffitti that they placed on the walls. stop copying US programs. be creative. with that fat salary that Restor Belize executives collect. I expect them to be more creative.

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