Le Korsa supports annual tennis and basketball camps on the multi-use court it constructed in Sinthian, as well as an annual soccer tournament for the Tambacounda region.
Annual Sports Camp
In 2019, 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.
Because of the village’s isolation, this camp is one of the few opportunities to formally compete, or to just shoot hoops, without traveling to Tambacounda, 60km away, where there are basketball courts, but no tennis facilities. The camp has been a huge success: hundreds of children have been coming from Sinthian and other local villages to pick up a new sport or refine their already solid groundstrokes and jump-shots, and just have fun in late summer.
Thanks to artist Ryan Cronin, who is also a girl’s lacrosse coach, we have 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 play. He has returned to teach alongside his son Daegan, a college lacrosse player, as well as other coaches. Ryan's team raises money to bring a host of equipment to Sinthian, which they donate.
Lacrosse is a growing sport in Africa, and never could we have foreseen that a basketball and tennis court could help it grow in Sinthian.
Since 2015, Le Korsa has hosted an annual soccer tournament at Thread in Sinthian. Designed to promote sports, physical activity, and teamwork, the tournament invites teams from over sixteen villages, many of which are made up of different ethnic groups, to compete with one another.
Each match draws an audience of hundreds, and approximately 2000 people, including Tambacounda’s Governor, attend the final match. People who cannot be there in person listen live on Radio Tabadian, the community radio station.
Le Korsa provides organizational support as well as shirts, balls and trophies.
We have been working with the community to use the gathering as an occasion to spread awareness about health issues such as malaria, or social issues such as clandestine migration. During a half-day forum before the final match, Dr. Magueye Ba, who works at the Sinthian medical clinic, sometimes shares information on child marriage, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV. This information is also reinforced by a local theater group, “Tambacounda Atelier de Théâtre,” and young people volunteer to be ambassadors about these issues in their respective villages.
The tournament remains one of the highlights of the region, and grows with popularity each year.
How You Can Help
Make a Donation
$100.00 can help us buy athletic shoes for children in Sinthian, or uniforms for a team in the soccer tournament.