This year’s YMCA World Challenge again celebrated the YMCA’s innovation and communities. This year’s theme – empowering young people through sport – was especially relevant as we recognised the invention of basketball 125 years ago.
Across the world, YMCAs played basketball and gave their communities the opportunity to experience the benefits of this great game.
Secretary General, Johan Vilhelm Eltvik, affirmed this year’s events saying “Once again we saw the YMCA share their great stories with their local communities by empowering young people through sport. From small events to big tournaments the YMCA movement showed their creativity. Well done everyone!
Many YMCAs went further and deeper, using the World Challenge to kick start or restart programmes that connect with their communities. We have heard many inspiring stories and – for fear of missing out so many – here are a few examples;
· Linking the World Challenge with starting a new project called Y-KID (kids on the move). This is a feeding program for street kids with different kinds of skills development and recreational activities integrated into the project.
· One YMCA hoping to start a new regular basketball programme, meeting their local community needs. “It’s a low socioeconomic area, it needs to be affordable for families particularly if they’ve got multiple children so it’s really important that we can keep the price as low as possible so people can access it if they need to”.
In 2018 YMCA World Challenge will return in June to celebrate our 174th birthday.
YMCA Dream Team 2017
As part of our 2017 World Challenge, we asked YMCAs to join the YMCA ‘Dream Team’. More than 50 countries participated by sharing a photo of their basketball stars! The Dream Team is available as a poster that can be downloaded here.
In the YMCAs view, everyone who plays basketball is a star! We love this game and encourage as many people as possible to go to their local YMCA and join in.
Basketball – our game, our communities.