Basketball Volleyball Court

  • Health
  • Community Growth
  • Youth
  • Dominican Republic
This project is led by Andrew Gorden, a Volunteer from Massachusetts

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The primary objective of this project is to have the youth develop concrete leadership skills by becoming primary stakeholders in the development of their town. It is expected for these leadership skills to take the form of fundraising, land preparation, and event organizing in the time before and during the construction of the court. Within the first 3 months after the basketball court is built, the community plans to implement the second objective of forming a basketball and volleyball team. This will help accomplish a goal of promoting gender equitable practices by providing a domain in which both boys and girls can play together. The third and more long-term component of this project is to cultivate a competitive spirit grounded in teamwork. Indeed, through hosting pick-up games and tournaments with neighboring communities, it is anticipated that the youth will learn important lessons about how to work together to achieve a common goal.

The community´s consensus for the need for a basketball court is conspicuous through the fact that it is a founding goal of the youth club. To gauge the broader community support for the project, members of the youth club helped in the dissemination of surveys to fellow community members. Of the 65 surveys were returned, all respondents stated that there was a high level of priority and interest in having a sports court built (8 and above out of 10). Beyond the youth club, a pro-construction committee was inaugurated to aid in the project´s logistical needs such as fundraising, securing the land, event planning, and budgeting. Community members have also taken an active role in preparing the land be it through soliciting a bulldozer from the local government to providing volunteer manual labor to clear out the brush at the designated construction spot.

Just as the inception of the idea to build a basketball court finds its origins in the youth club, it is likely that its future sustainability will depend on those very same club members. Although the kids will grow into adults and some will inevitably move away, the youth club's adult administrators will be vital to the court´s success or failure in terms of use and maintenance. Therefore, the community plans to always have two coache - one for the basketball team and the other for the volleyball team - to ensure that the youth will have consistent motivators to continue practicing their respective sports. Monthly tournaments with neighboring communities is anticipated to aid in this. Moreover, continued solicitation of funds from local NGO´s and government is expected to help improve the user experience of the court by acquiring goods such as: team uniforms, outdoor lighting, new equipment, seating, and latrines.

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