During the month of July, PJB celebrated it's 10th year anniversary. This month was filled with events, visits from partners and guests, opening of new basketball courts, and of course a lot of basketball. It was an exciting time for the organization and all the member of the organization. From the administration and board, all the way down to the baby-basket players, there was a lot for everyone to celebrate!
Every summer since 2012, PJB has hosted a delegation of adidas volunteers to strengthen our partnership. This year we were able to welcome eleven members of the adidas organization to the PJB family. Over two weeks (July 3rd-July 16) the group of delegates ran daily activities in sports, education, arts, and culture. We are so lucky to have been able to share our family and experiences with the adidas team.
Morning Warm-up Activities
Each day with the group begins at 7:30am with physical warm-up activities. This year we had a mix of warm-up activities including Yoga, Aerobics, and H.I.I.T. Every year these activities have been led by PJB staff or adidas volunteers. This year a group of PJB players learned to be fitness instructors and led the morning warm-ups for the second week of the trip.
Learn A New Sport
At PJB we understand the importance of cross training and appreciating all sports, not just basketball. This year's delegation of adidas volunteers brought their expertise in a number of new sports to introduce to the youth and share their athletic passions. This years new sports included: Volleyball, Hockey, Soccer, Capoeira, Irish Football, Body Combat, Frisbee, Crossfit and Tennis.
This year the trip made great strides in introducing education into the program. Through workshops and classes, the adidas volunteers gave valuable learning experiences to the players of PJB. The workshops delivered included: Environmental Protection, 3C's (Creativity, Collaboration, Confidence), Physiotherapy, Communication, Culture, and Photography. These interactive and engaging workshops gave the PJB members an opportunity to develop life skills in an exciting way.
Each adidas delegation has left their mark on the environment of Maison Des Jeunes, which is the compound in which the PJB facilities are located. The walls of the compound are full of inspirational quotes and colorful murals. This year three new walls were designed and painted on the premises. Each wall signifies important values and ideas that PJB stands for. This year's walls signify leadership, duty and desire.
The handibasket program has been flourishing at PJB under the guidance of head coach Kipere Mulolwa and Handi-Head Coach Jacques Assosa. adidas has offered extra training for the players and coaches over the past two summer in hopes of developing the premier handicap basketball program in the country. This summer the adidas delegation trained the handibasket players along with Coach Jacques in the afternoons, as well as developed paralympic games to run in accordance with the annual PJB-adidas olympic games.
PJB-adidas Olympic and Paralympic Games
Every summer, adidas and PJB plan an olympic games with the members of PJB to celebrate culture, sports, and sportsmanship. This summer the olympic games were set-up in conjunction with a paralympic games, to create an inclusive competition among all members of PJB. Fifteen teams were created to represent a host of countries from Togo to South Korea. The day began with an opening ceremony with a parade through town and an entrance into Maison Des Jeunes, where all the activities were played. The ceremony continued with a cultural/team spirit presentation before the games of the day began. Each of the teams competed both mental and physical activities testing their teamwork, creativity, and athleticism. Games included games such as table bouldering, slack-lining, long jump, bowling, blind football, and different types of relay races. The culminating game was a wheelchair basketball match while scores were tallied and awards were decided upon. Everyone participating in the games received a country tattoo and a certificate of participation. The winning country for the 2016 PJB-adidas Olympic games was Argentina!
Professional Player Visits
In our 10th year anniversary we were very happy to welcome visits from two amazing family members of PJB- Guy Muya and Bismack Biyombo. Guy Muya is a professional basketball player in Brussels, Belgium and also a member of the Belgian National Basketball team. Guy spent two weeks with PJB in Goma and coached during the basketball camps, ran his own practices with the elite players of PJB, participated in the Olympic ceremonies, played in the PJB summer league, gave life-skills workshops, and brought an amazing enthusiasm to the program. Bismack Biyombo is a board member of PJB and currently plays in the NBA for the Orlando Magic. Originally from the DRC, this is Bismack's second year visiting the PJB program. This summer he ran camps for the PJB players, refereed and coached summer league games, and helped in inaugurating three new basketball courts around Goma. Both Guy and Bismack's presence in Goma gained great appreciation and admiration from the youth of PJB and their positive impact on the summer's programing went a long way in celebration of PJB's tenth year.
10 Year Awards Celebration
To Celebrate our 10 years, we brought together partners, fans, players, coaches and all supporters of Promo Jeune Basket on Friday, July 15th for a celebration event. This event included the final matches of the PJB summer league, a dunk contest and special messages given from key members of the PJB family. The exciting afternoon featured speeches from founder Dario Merlo, medals and pins awarded to all active participants of PJB's summer events, awarding of exclusive PJB adidas superstar shoes, and even PJB players dunking over motorcycles and NBA players!