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Flames Train Coaches - Dec 6, 2006

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Basketball side Francistown Flames in partnership with the Kings Foundation held a three-day clinic at Mater Spei College for school coaches this week. Flames' coach and Kings Foundation Botswana director, Matt Leowen, told Mmegi Sport that one of the problems facing the growth of the sport is lack of knowledge of basic rules and fundamentals of the game. Kings Foundation is a United Kingdom based Christian organisation meant to develop children through sport.

Leowen, who came to Botswana in 2002 as Kings Foundation representative, said they offered the free coaching clinic in an attempt to educate coaches and promote basketball in Francistown. Fourteen coaches from junior secondary and a few from primary schools with basketball facilities attended the clinic. The clinic was supported by the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA). Leowen pointed out that they could not accommodate a large number of participants due to limited resources.

"Sport in general is a great way to keep young people active and healthy and basketball is the fastest growing sport in Africa," he said. He added that Flames want to see more schools' basketball tournaments next year in the north. He lamented that the level of participation in basketball in the region is very low. He said that by next year, they want to see more young people joining the game in large numbers.

Kings Foundation will attract youngsters to the game by using more coaches to spread the message in schools. "My team players are very excited about the issue and they are planning to host camps for aspiring players during the December holidays," said Leowen.He was positive that with support from parents and sponsors, the future of basketball is bright. He said that there is talent and potential among young locals and they just need guidance to realise the importance of sports in life.

Former Splinters' coach and now Flames senior technical advisor, David Sechombo, said the coaching clinic is meant to try and make people aware of all basketball aspects including the terminology.

He feels that before a person engages in a particular sport, he or she has to appreciate everything about it. "If you are a basketball player or coach, you remain behind if you do not attend workshops of this nature," said the basketball veteran.

(Courtesy of Basketball in Africa)  

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