Hundreds of children local villages participated in our annual sports camp.
Three years ago, Le Korsa built a basketball and tennis court next to Thread and the soccer field in Sinthian, so that more people in the village — especially young girls — had access to sports. While soccer has long been popular in the village, and Le Korsa has hosted an annual soccer tournament at Thread since 2015 for regional teams, there were no other sports facilities in the village until we built this court.
To maximize its use, each year since 2019 we have invited coach Maissa Fall from the Tambacounda Basketball Association, and tennis pro Lamine Keita from Dakar, to run a free sports camp for hundreds of boys and girls. We donate the equipment—racquets, balls, shoes—and provide food. The coaches teach the children skills and drills, then help them compete in scrimmages at the end of each session, which are always full of laughter and teamwork.
Thanks to artist Ryan Cronin, who is also a girl’s lacrosse coach in New Paltz, New York, this year we added lacrosse to the camp. Ryan was a Thread artist-in-residence in 2019 and during his stay introduced lacrosse to children in Sinthian, and left behind some equipment so they could continue playing.
Ryan returned this past August to teach lacrosse alongside his son, Daegan, who plays at the college level. The pair raised money to bring a host of equipment to Sinthian, which they then donated, and they are already coming back in November to run another lacrosse camp. Lacrosse is a growing sport in Africa, and we could have never foreseen that a basketball and tennis court could help it grow in Sinthian, but we’re thrilled it’s happening.