The Rural Development Trust (RDT) has observed the growing popularity of basketball throughout India and was looking to include the sport in its already well established sport for development program, the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA). This would not only promote basketball in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, but also further strengthen the claim of its vision to establish an already blooming sporting culture in the region, that the ASA has worked very hard, along with the support of other partners and supporters, to achieve.
This time two Spanish Basketball clubs, Unió Esportiva Sant Cugat (UESC) and Qbasket Sant Cugat (QBSC) joined RDT’s long and distinguished list of partners and supporters. These clubs were eagerly looking forward for an opportunity of working in collaboration with RDT to bring basketball to rural India. This was finally realised as these two clubs began their journey when their team of coaches arrived in Anantapur about a fortnight ago.
As many as twelve male and two female coaches from UESC and QBSC together arrived in Anantapur to conduct this camp between 16th and 29th of July, 2016. The camp ran simultaneously at three different venues within Anantapur with 220 children from all over Andhra Pradesh attending this camp. The main agenda of this camp was to introduce the younger non playing children to the game while encouraging the existing basketball playing youth to continue playing the sport, most of whom travelled from some of the most remote villages of Anantapur and nearby districts to learn and play basketball.
These coaches ensured to make basketball sessions fun and enjoyable for the children. The initial sessions saw these rural children very uncomfortable as they have rarely trained among so many children. The coaches realised that quickly focussed on promoting social growth opportunities during their sessions.
The coaches believe sport allows a hastened development among these children. They used a value based coaching approach to boost the self-confidence of these children and also promote basic values like team work, respect, self-improvisation to promote their personal development.
Alongside conducting regular sessions in the three venues, coaches visited some villages in and around Anantapur to conduct sessions for more children to promote basketball. During these visits they also met the local associations, coaches and PE teachers to promote the game and spread awareness about basketball. They aimed to educate and equip them with necessary skills to continue promoting the sport till their next visit.
Oriol Antras Marti, the UESC coordinator for the duration of this camp shared that “We are very glad to associate ourselves with RDT to organize this camp. We have just begun our journey and have a long way to go. However we have so many sports to observe and learn from. We will be looking to follow their lead, establish a structure that is best suited for us and the game itself and grow Basketball in Anantapur.”