PPSA’s year-round, integrated youth basketball programs have reached over 70,000 participants across 15 countries. Launched in 2001, PPSA promotes peaceful coexistence among white, black, indian and coloured children, while providing a positive extracurricular outlet and leadership opportunities for those from disadvantaged communities. Informed by more than a decade of experience, PPSA has developed a consistent methodology for using sport to help young people carve out a safe and successful path in societies burdened by the impact of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, crime, and strong cultural divides.“Children who learn to play together can learn to live together.” This is the message of the PeacePlayers South Africa project, and it fits in perfectly with the philosophy of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which believes that people’s attitudes and prejudices can be changed by the power of sport.
PPSA helps the young people in North of KwaZulu-Natal carve out a safe and successful path in a society burdened by the impact of HIV/AIDS, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and strong cultural divides.
The project has provided basketball coaching to more than 28,000 black, white, coloured and indian children, aged 10-18. One of the great advantages is the broad positive benefit, which starts with children and spreads rapidly through their communities. Parents of these children have grown up with racial difficulties, but through participation in PeacePlayers South Africa, and seeing firsthand their children interacting with youngsters from other areas; parents begin to contribute to the cause. The project’s accomplishments include building 30 full-length basketball courts, recruiting, training and employing 300 local coaches and programme coordinators, implementing a programme-wide HIV/Aids awareness initiative, establishing the only primary schools league in Durban and surrounding areas, and organizing 26 city-wide tournaments over the past 15 years. PeacePlayers South Africa plans to expand its basketball programme and involve more students throughout the region.