In Peru there are two main sports, soccer and volleyball. Starting at a young age the Peruvian girls play volleyball while the boys play soccer. Rusty or broken basketball hoops are found in some of the schools in our town, but no one understands the rules or owns an actual basketball for that matter.
Just like I had put my mom to work during my parent’s visit, I had to put something together for my dad as well. (In the spirit of fairness of course!) My dad is an insurance agent, boring. My dad is a baseball and football fanatic, too difficult to bring equipment to Peru. My dad is a basketball coach, perfect! So after a quick meeting with the high school athletic director in my town it was decided that my dad would facilitate a 3-day basketball camp with the two P.E. teachers.
My dad brought nets, pumps, jerseys, and basketballs all donated by the league he works with in states, Katy Youth Basketball. With the help of my mom they miraculously found a way to fit 10 (deflated) basketballs in with the rest of their luggage!
When we arrived at the high school we were greeted by the principal who made me present my dad, Coach Scott, to the entire student body and explain what we would be doing for the next 3 days. I made all of the students practice saying “Coach Scott” and the patio erupted with laughter as the students screamed “Coach Es-cott, Coach Es-cott, Coach Es-cott!”
The two P.E. coaches asked us to work with 1st and 2nd grades, and then 4th and 5th grades for 3 hours a day. We worked with 50-60 kids at a time, so the idea was that Coach Scott and the two teachers each work with a smaller group after they all learned the basics. I was so proud to see the P.E. teachers step up and take a huge leadership role throughout the whole camp!
We started with dribbling, passing, and shooting drills! The students loved trying to dribble two balls at once. It was the first time I had seen boys and girls playing the same sport together at this specific high school.
By the end of day one all of the students were divided into teams and each of coaches acted as a referee as the co-ed teams scrimmaged one another. Needless to say there was a lot of traveling and fouling going on, but the smiles and sound of laughter made up for it. One boy even kicked the ball out of habit!
The next two days were mostly led by the two Peruvian coaches. The idea was that they continue practicing basketball after my dad left, so this was the best way to make sure they felt comfortable doing it on their own. Coach Scott taught them some new games and drills, and they proudly replicated the games with each of their classes.
We started with a game where everyone is dribbling a ball within a fixed area and each player is trying to knock the ball out of the other person’s hand! As the number of players gets smaller so does the area they can move around in, and by the end there is one player standing.
At the end of each day Coach Scott gave a motivational speech and on the final day the P.E. coaches spoke about how it was such a blessing to have connected with my parents and have the opportunity to learn a new sport. They talked about how they could see a change in the students as they played a sport together, without thinking about gender. The coaches also asked for more videos and resources to continue learning all of the rules of basketball and email addresses to keep in touch with my dad. It was a surreal moment, seeing my two worlds collide through a basketball camp in a tiny town tucked away in the Northern Andes of Peru!