Let’s use the opportunity of #GivingTuesday to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive – be it today or at any other time of the year.
A local project of Global Aid Network propels “Rojas Warriors”, giving children in social exclusion or without resources the chance of being a part of a basketball team.
Practising sports is an integral part of children and teenagers upbringing. However, many minors are left out, because they just cannot pay the fees and the equipment needed to be a part of an official team.
Having that in mind, the non-governmental organisation GAIN (Global Aid Network), along with Sadiel Rojas, a professional basketball player of the Spanish team UCAM Murcia, have created “Rojas Warriors.”
The project aims to give children in social exclusion the chance of being a part of a basketball team.
“We realised there was a great need in Murcia, so we decided to carry out a sports social project.” explained GAIN's director, Miqueas Forster.
“Our dream is to offer an environment which will contribute to the personal growth of all the boys and girls involved.” he adds.
“ON THE COURT, WE ARE ALL EQUAL”
The project started on May 2015 and currently consists of 2 teams. One is for children under 12, who play in a league organised by the Murcia Basketball Federation. The other team unites 12-18 year old teenagers from several juvenile shelters in Murcia.
“There are no social classes on the court, and that is great. We are all equal, and what really matters is our personal skills. The inequality is outside, where being part of a team depends on the money you have. This project fights against this.” Edi Souto, coach of the teams, explains.
“Before the game, we might see differences between the expensive or cheap trainers players wear, but once the referee blows the whistle we are all just basketball players.” Souto comments.
According to the coach, this is something that “we usually do not see in normal life: people of different social positions, race, religion, and culture, fighting together for the common good.”
FINANCED BY DONATIONS
The project is financed by donations. GAIN covers the Federation fee, registration, and equipment.
“In order to fulfil our goals, integrating the kind of children we want to get involved, the project must be free for them.” Forster affirms.
The director of the project explains that they are still looking for donations from individuals and companies because “by donating for this project, you are sponsoring a basketball player, it is a way of investing in the life of a teenager who does not have the same opportunities as others.”
MORE THAN SPORTS
When asked about the future of the project, Edi Souto said that they are “fighting to keep what we have started.”
The organisers hope “Rojas Warriors” will become an inspiration for all those children passionate about basketball, so that they will not worry about their social and economic resources.
“We do not want to grow in sporting terms if the project does not help to train people, and not just basketball players”, Souto concludes.
You can follow the Rojas Warriors on Facebook (Spanish)