The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa organised a three-day training for physical education (PE) school teachers and basketball coaches as part of the Junior NBA and AFD Basketball Experience.
Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience is part of AFD and NBA Africa’s larger collaboration to support basketball infrastructure in youth development across the continent and builds on the inaugural Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience launched in Zenata, Morocco in 2019.
The training sessions, facilitated by Joe Tououmou, associate technical director, NBA Academy Africa held at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos started Tuesday, May 9, and ended Thursday, May 11, 2023.
It was designed to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on young boys and girls participating in the Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience. It is also an effort to educate these young players on physical and mental well-being, life skills, healthy living, and more.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Xavier Muron, AFD Director for Nigeria said that AFD strongly supports initiatives which use sports as a vector for education, social awareness and inclusion.
“We see the Basketball Experience Programme as a way to achieve the sustainable development goals. It empowers and builds the capacity of the physical education teachers with basketball global practice while promoting physical well-being, mental health, lifestyles and all necessary skills needed to impact the students to become future citizens.
“I am particularly proud to see the work that has been done between the French Development Agency, the NBA and their local partner Dream Sports Africa, said Laurence Monmayrant, General Consul of France in Lagos. “The training which is taking place is a tangible result of the announcement made by President Macron on his visit to Nigeria in 2018: France strongly believes in youth empowerment through sports and especially through basketball as it helps them acquire core values like respect, self-confidence, and solidarity,” he said.
Also at the event, Gbemisola Abudu, NBA Africa VP and Country Head of NBA Nigeria said: “We are thrilled to host the coaches and educators’ training in Lagos this week as part of our longstanding collaboration with AFD to support basketball infrastructure and youth development.”
“Equipping more coaches and educators with the necessary skills to teach and train our boys and girls the right way is paramount, and we look forward to continuing to expand our footprint throughout this collaboration,” Audu added.
Similarly, Michael Anejo, Country Director of Dream Sport Africa, said: “We are committed to using the transformative power of the game of basketball for positive social change in Lagos secondary schools. This unique training experience for sports officers and physical education teachers will elevate the level of youth development through basketball in Nigeria.”
“The trainees will be provided with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop thousands of Nigerian boys and girls through Basketball Experience,” Anejo said. “The game is a great way to promote fitness and healthy living, but also teaches valuable lessons in teamwork, discipline and communication.”
In November 2021, AFD and NBA Africa initiated a pilot phase in Lagos implemented by the international non-governmental organization Dream Sports Africa. To date, the programme has reached more than 21,000 boys and girls ages 12-17 from 55 public and private schools in Lagos State.
The teachers and coaches will explore the role of basketball in the school sports curriculum, learn about various basketball and coaching methodologies, and discover the best ways of identifying and nurturing basketball talent in the programme.