By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
No fewer than 80 girls between the ages of 12 to 16 are participating in the 2018 One Win Basketball Foundation Clinic ongoing at the Federal Cooperative College Kaduna.
The clinic tagged ‘Girls We Can Do It’ combines sports, academics and motivational sessions in making girls believe in themselves.
Speaking at to newsmen who stormed one of the sessions on Saturday March 10, 2018, CEO of One Win Basketball Foundation, Coach Christiana Mark Carter explained that it was planned to keep the girls busy positively.
“One Win Basketball Foundation is something that originated from the scratch because in Kaduna, lots of kids don’t have things doing. I thought of how to keep them busy positively,” she said.
Coach Carter explained that though the annual programme is in its fifth edition, this is the first time it is featuring only girls.
She said she is delighted to see the girls happy whenever they showed up for sessions.
“I can see potentials in them. I see great women leaders, though it’s not all of them that would make it through basketball, I see successful women in every endeavour,” she emphasized.
The CEO pointed out that with the support they are getting from the US Embassy in Abuja, they are providing lunch and other snacks for the girls each day they come.
She said about eight schools are featuring in this year’s edition.
For 14-year old Emmanuel’s Bare who is 5ft six inches tall who featured in the junior category, she hopes to play in the WMBA for Chicago Sky.
She said at the various sessions attended, she learnt different basics of basketball, as well as tutorials in maths.
The student of Excel Universal College added that besides basketball, she aspires to study micro biology in tertiary institution.
Sekinatu Abdullahi 12 years old from the Cadet Category, a student of Lead International School, said that she loved every moment spent in the One Win Basketball sessions.
“I like the way they are training us. They have brought joy to us and our families. I want to say thank you to them and my parents for encouraging me to be here,” she added.
Sekinatu who hopes to study medicine in the future, said she would also pursue a career as a professional basketball player.
From the Learners Category, 12-year old Ruth Samson from Bright International College said she likes the feel of the ball, but would also want to be a doctor in future.
Coach James Fungaing who is the Camp Coordinator said that the response they are getting from the girls so far, has been encouraging.
He said that himself alongside other coaches have taken their time to identify the strength and weaknesses of the girls, with a view to making them overcome the weaknesses and improving on strengths.
Fungaing said that besides the training and academic lectures the girls are receiving, they ate also committee at ensuring they get access to quality education to tertiary level by identifying those from poor backgrounds and sourcing scholarship for them.
“Some less privileged are good in academics and we hope to get scholarship for them. For them to be successful, education is key. If you are sound, it makes it easier for the coach because you would understand instructions,” he explained.
The One Win Basketball Foundation 2018 sessions commenced on February 21 and would end on March 31.
It features intensive basketball drills, health talks, life skills and talks on girl-child education.
The girls are also benefitting from talks on drug abuse and unhealthy behaviours.
Sessions are held twice weekly; on Fridays and Saturdays.