Bas to Get Own Operating Space in Katutura

The Basketball Artists School (BAS) will soon have its own building to operate from after being housed temporarily at several places since its inception in February 2010.

The building, with a floor area of 180 square metres, will include two classrooms, two locker rooms with sanitary facilities, a kitchen and an office, will be constructed next to the football pitch at the Katutura Youth Complex.

A ground-breaking ceremony towards the construction was held on Monday, and it is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

BAS is an after-school programme focusing on providing academic tutoring, life skills and basketball training to less-privileged children under the motto ‘Education First-Basketball Second’.

Currently, 45 children between the ages of 11 and 16 are attending the programme.

As BAS did not have its own facilities to ensure the daily support of the children, fundraising activities were started in 2011, resulting in donations of about N$550 000 by private German sponsors. In addition, via its micro-project fund, the German embassy contributed N$342 500, bringing the total budget to almost N$900 000.

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony, BAS founder and coach Frank Albin said they are eager to start with the construction of their complex, because “life has not been easy” for them in the past – having to share operating space with other organisations.

“We are very thankful to Special Olympics Namibia for offering us a brand new classroom at their Football for Hope centre to run our activities. It was not always easy, as we were always there every day and they had their own activities to run in the classroom too. We later found shelter at the sports complex’ old storeroom at the stadium, but the roof is always leaking when it rains, and the wind is always blowing papers away in the office. Also, people disturb at all times, the room is too little and gets overcrowded with just a few people,” stated Albin.

Speaking at the same ceremony, German Ambassador to Namibia Onno Huckmann said he was pleased and honoured that his embassy and private German sponsors made donations towards the construction of the BAS.

The ambassador acknowledged Albin’s commitment to the realisation of BAS’ own facilities.

“When I see what has been achieved here over the last four to five years, you (Albin) have performed a truly remarkable job,” said Huckmann.

Nampa

Source : The Namibian

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