Pink Gin Beach, Grenada (July 13, 2017)
It was an exciting afternoon of display drills, slam dunks and intense 15 minute face offs as the Limes Development Committee in partnership with Sandals Foundation hosted a Kids’ Basketball Festival, at the Limes Hard Court, Grenada, on July 8, 2017. This was the culmination of the hard work of local coaches, Natanya Paul, Danny Briggs and Cyril Cox who run the after-school basketball program offered free to children of all ages from surrounding areas. The overall program is funded by Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International and Wades World Foundation, the non-profit organization of US basketball superstar Dwayne Wade.
The event began with the 6 to 10 year olds’ display of fundamental skills and a shooting game; thereafter the 11 to 14 year olds displayed their now enhanced fundamental skills, offensive drills and a 15 minute friendly face off. Passionate parents on the sidelines included, soca super star Tallpree, who even gave it a go at the open “free throw challenge”. Also in attendance was former national player Herman “Mello” Peters who pledged his support for Game Changer. Coach Natanya Paul was elated as she expressed her satisfaction with the turn out: “In the end we want to see the holistic development of our children and I am so happy that the community has come out today to support us.”
Although basketball is a male dominated sport, the benefits to young girls remain just the same. This is reflected in the 50/50 rate of participation in Game Changer at the Limes. To inspire the young girls, the big girls, The Classics, came out to play, for what turned out to be a thrilling and gritty segment. The men of The Tornadoes and Limes went head to head at the close of the evening, with the Limes edging out for the win.
An audience favourite, the slam dunk competition between, Darren Oxford, Jolan Ledlow and Travis Ranger proved to be easy to judge, with the audience giving the loudest roar to the statuesque and skilled Travis Ranger.
To top it off, the children were not sent home empty handed, but instead each left with an indoor basketball hoop and ball to attach to any door at home for their enjoyment. This gift was donated by friend of Coach Cyril Cox, US professional basketballer (with Grenadian parents), Nigel Byam.
“Strengthening and unifying our communities is one of the fundamental mantras of Sandals Foundation. Today’s event is a grand display of the sum of many parts. Thank you to everyone involved for their support,” said Supratik Guha, Hotel Manager, Sandals LaSource.