Sport is a teacher, it promotes tolerance and respect, it is a community builder, a self-esteem booster and a life line, even more so for youth who come from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Netball America’s ‘Be An Inspiration’ programme, made possible through a grant from the Laureus Foundation, is one such example. Netball America is the only US netball organisation that has membership with the national physical education association. This association has led to netball being introduced into school curriculums across the USA.
Although netball has been played in the USA for over 40 years, Netball America is the first to introduce the sport at a grassroots level, therefore creating excitement and interest amongst players, at a young age.
As the name suggests, ‘Be An Inspiration' is an initiative aimed at encouraging disadvantaged girls in elementary, middle and high school. The aim is to get the girls to start playing netball in order to help them improve their physical wellbeing, add to their social and emotional learning and to better understand nutrition.
The programme took girls from Dekalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs and East Atlanta Kids. Improvement, empowerment and upliftment are at the heart of the programme.
Talking about her experience, one of the participants says: “kindness and respect work hand-in-hand in our lives and as athletes. Respecting someone means that you show them kindness and compassion and this helps you practice good sportsmanship”.
At the end of October, a netball tournament was held, followed by a graduation ceremony, to close off what had been a life-changing event for the girls. This was streamed on Joymo.
Sonya Ottaway, “we are excited to use this platform [Joymo] and see it as a big benefit to us and our members to help make American Netball more accessible globally while delivering a professional broadcast that allows easy incorporation of sponsors and fundraising for the netball clubs”.
At Joymo we champion the everyday athlete, from grassroots teams like this Netball America Be An Inspiration initiative, to those playing at the elite level. We believe in empowering players, in whatever sport, and our platform helps teams improve their performance.