The young girl assesses the formation of her competitors, who watch her closely. She slowly dribbles down the court. Immediately, the other team’s forward challenges her, trying to get at the ball. But she quickly flicks it away to a teammate, who grabs it, pivots and sends the orange sphere in a beautiful arc toward the basket.
This is basketball at Our Lady of Holy Cross School in Barakathal, India. The students have the spirit and they certainly have the enthusiasm. The girls and boys just needed a decent playing facility.
Now, an anonymous donor has stepped forward to fund a new basketball court. Headmistress Sister Khochem Mossang, CSC, knows well the value of sports to a child’s holistic development.
“One important element of education is incorporation of sports and recreation to support the healthy social development of students,” said Sister Khochem. “Critical social habits are developed including teamwork, determination, willpower and discipline.” She is aware that organized sports are an important part of a well-rounded education that strives to nourish the body, the mind, and the spirit. Playing on a team teaches children how to collaborate toward a common goal, how to be a leader and, sometimes just as importantly, how to follow a leader.
National studies in India have linked participation in sports to lower rates of tobacco, drug and alcohol use. And basketball in India is a popular sport, with professional leagues and schools hosting championship tournaments at all levels. With a new court, Our Lady of Holy Cross school will be able to host games and compete against other regional schools—giving students an opportunity to meet children outside their social circle, expand their minds and hearts, strengthen their bodies, and just enjoy the thrill of the game.
There is much excitement at Our Lady of Holy Cross School, as this project has become a true slam dunk.