Strong women come in many types, and at the Academy for Peace and Justice, that includes powerful Athletes. With a year of hard work behind them, a group of basketballers is taking their talent all the way to the Haiti Olympic Stadium!
Over the last year, the Academy has been ramping up its sports department because we believe that human security also means physical health, confidence, and a knowledge of one’s own strength. With the hire of a new basketball coach and former pro athlete, Coach Gethro, our students are jumping at the opportunity to show their skills and their teamwork.
Coach Gethro says: “Practicing a sport is very important it gives you a sense of responsibility and leadership and along the way your teammates become your family, you gain lasting friendships and a support system.”
Developing these skills is a huge asset benefits for the Academy. Many of our students live in dangerous neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often with challenging family circumstances.
Over 61 young women between the ages of 11 and 17 have been training since September of 2018, and their hard work is paying off. The Academy’s Senior Team has already played 7 games against other highly competitive teams, winning 5 of the 7 matches, and scoring 72 points in just one game.
The Academy team is even attracting national attention! All eyes will be on Thesly Cadesca Jean, a local star and the MVP of the team, who was able to score 36 points in a single match. Sport fans are anticipating a great match as Thesly and her teammates travel to compete in the Haiti Olympic Stadium.
But our team is not based on any individual, but on teamwork, showing that each of our skills is stronger when we work together. For Coach Gethro, it is not just about teaching the students how to play basketball. The Academy for Peace and Justice sports program also gives them a space where they can have fun!
And the high number of participants attests to his success…
As Coach Gethro says: “I want to give everyone a chance to play, the realities of life of these young women are so difficult that to be on the basketball court is one of the moments that they enjoy the most.”
On the court, we are allowing our girls a chance to be themselves and carry that freedom with them into their daily lives.