Basketball Leben – Basketball for Life
The children of Bögöz, Romania, love to play basketball – and Basketball Leben has helped them to follow their dream. Together with the help of dozens of sponsors, we have collected the funds necessary in order to build an outside court. Now, things will get even bigger.
In Bögöz, children and teenagers do not have many choices on what to do in their leisure time. There are not a whole lot of recreational activities, no sports, no cultural offers. Physical education in school has to be held in an old barn that barely serves the purpose. After school, there is nothing to do – which means that children often hang out in the streets, while the older ones sometimes turn to the local club.
BC Hellenen Uniting Cultures Camp: Sharing our passion
But things are changing. Our club, BC Hellenen Munich e.V., has been maintaining a close relationship with the children of Bögöz for many years now. School kids, teenagers or the children of the local orphanage: They have all been infected by our passion for basketball.
We know how important sports are particularly for socially less privileged families. Basketball is a team sport that does not only strengthen the physical stamina, but also promotes self-confidence, team spirit and discipline. Buy building an outside basketball court, we have given kids and teenagers in Bögöz a chance to actually decide what their life outside school should look like.
Building a playing field – and a perspective
In summer 2014, we have initiated our project by holding a uniting cultures basketball camp in Bögöz. 12 children from our club’s youth teams have traveled to Romania for a one-week basketball trip – at the same time, we have started to collect funds for building the court.
We were overwhelmed by how well the first camp turned out. Overwhelmed by the enthusiasm with which the local kids followed their training sessions, and by the focus and determination with which the kids from Munich followed their task of training their new friends. Because of the success, we decided to make the camp an annual event, and have been going back to Bögöz in 2015 and 2016.
At the same time, we invested a lot of time and energy in fundraising, networking, and talking to Romanian and German media outlets. Our efforts were met with success: only one and a half years after first talking about our extraordinary – and maybe somewhat crazy – plan to bring basketball to Bögöz, we succeeded in collecting more than 30,000 Euros – the funds necessary to build a court.
The next steps
With the field having been constructed, our drive to bring basketball to Bögöz hasn’t stopped: we supported the creation of a local team and enabled them to rent a local gym a couple of miles away from Bögöz in order to practice during the winter. While this enables a couple of kids to play each week – and they do, zealously as well as passionately – we want to enable all kids from Bögöz to follow their dreams, play sports, and get a little more perspective in life.
That is why we partnered with HS Augsburg – in particular, an architecture class that aims to construct a gymnasium that will not only host a full indoor basketball court, but one that will be built sustainably, respecting local traditions as well as the vernacular architecture. Moreover, the students and their professor will support us in applying for funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
How can you help?
In the meantime, we still need your help. While the architecture students work at full speed, it might take a while before a topping out ceremony will be held at the construction site where the gymnasium is to be build. That is why every contribution made in the meantime, no matter the size, makes a difference – be it to buy new basketballs, support a local kid that has outgrown his or her shoes, or finance the bus ride to the gym the kids are training in at the moment. As we – the Basketball Leben team – are passionate volunteers, every donation directly finds its way into Bögöz.
Thank you for your help – Köszönöm szépen!
If you do not want to make your donation through betterplace.org, you can donate directly to:
Basketball Leben e.V.
Bank: Postbank München
Please feel free to contact us any time.