Basketball Leben’s aim is to strengthen the local community of Bögöz, Romania, by building an athletic and cultural centre together with the local school and church, and by supporting a local basketball club – being able to join a sports team increases the players’ self-confidence and the sense of community.
A multi-faceted after-school programme is planned to support students in studying Romanian – their native language is Hungarian –, setting up a study-system in which better students help the ones struggling, and establishing a monthly educational programme in which experts talk about topics such as equal rights, sexual orientation and racism.
On top of that, Basketball Leben envisions a course system re-connecting the inhabitants of Bögöz and the surrounding area with their cultural roots, the Szekler culture, thereby further strengthening their sense of community and helping them to embrace their cultural heritage.
Problem to be tackled
The community of Bögöz faces a number of challenges: some parts of the community, especially the members of the Roma community living in the municipality, is hardly integrated into communal activities. Moreover, economic hardships have led to a lack of activities for children and young people, especially when it comes to sports, culture and education outside of the regular school curriculum. 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. Basketball Leben aims to change this, give Bögöz a new sense of community, and its inhabitants a better outlook in life – in close cooperation with actors from the local community.
Basketball Leben in conjunction with its own local basketball club, namely BC Bögözi Udvar. Currently, the children get to play basketball regularly in Bögöz. They train, exercise and learn about tactics. The project is going to enable them to connect with their community on a stronger level and to grow into self-sufficient and strong personalities. Additionally, the project is going to strengthen the community with an after-school programme, educational work, language classes, trainers’ training and the consolidation of cultural identity through courses that deal with traditional Szekler art including folk dance, sewing (traditional costumes), Kopjafa or traditional wood work.
As Bögöz is a small community, Basketball Leben aims at letting everyone in the community, but especially all of the young population, benefit from the activities. They support and encourage children and adolescents to discover their own opportunities and powers, to develop into self-confident and solidary people and to act independently. This is the only way Basketball Leben considers to be able to strengthen the Bögöz community, create prospects and sustainably improve life in the community.
With the support from The SOL Foundation, Basketball Leben will be able to move the existing project to the next level, with improved structures and more sustainable programme elements using the sport of basketball.
Basketball Leben, established in 2015, is a registered non-profit-organisation and association in Munich, Germany; initially it was an initiative under the BC Hellenen München e.V., a basketball club also in Munich.