Estelle is team captain of the Women’s Basketball Team in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. She and her teammates love the game and love the exercise they get playing. “I like staying in shape, that’s one of the reasons I play,” said Estelle.
But the playing conditions can be tough. Estelle and her teammates don’t have uniforms or decent gear – many of their shoes are actually falling apart. And the court they play on can barely be called a court, it’s caused the players many injuries. So Estelle and her teammates decided to run in the World Refugee Day 5k on June 20 to try and raise money for some of the things their team needed.
We’re grateful to all the people who responded and funded what Estelle and her team needed! And on Day 184 we were able to hand over those items to the players. Estelle and the team had asked for a first aid kit. Without bandages, antibiotic cream and other supplies, players had a hard time healing. So we handed over a metal case filled with the provisions they needed.
But the team was most excited for their new uniforms. “Now we feel like a real team,” said Estelle. The team looks sharp in their new orange jerseys and shorts. And they each received a pair of shoes that will keep them safer and in top performance.
Estelle and the team are fully equipped now to go out and play other teams – something they couldn’t do before without jerseys and uniforms. They showed off their skills – and their new gear – at an exhibition in Nakivale on June 30th to mark Congo’s Independence Day.
The last item on the team’s wishlist was a new basketball court – in fact it’s on the wishlist of the men’s team and the kids team, too. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for developments on that front…
Special thanks to Tharangi & Milo Cumaranatunge, Saroja & Tim Edmund, Gish and Jason, Dushani and Martin, SweatShop Health Club, Kshanika, Brooke, Melinda & Nath Samaratunga, Yuwan Santhiapillai for making the Women’s team’s dream a reality.