Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute’s Community Co-ordinators, Niamh Flynn and Rojo Andofinoana Razafisalama, came together with volunteers and villagers to rehabilitate the old basketball courts in Ampangarina, Nosy Komba. The team reached out to several groups to raise funds, reconstructed the goal posts and court, and held a community tournament all within 3 short weeks. This was an impressive feat that couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of Marsellin and other members of the Nosy Komba community.
Niamh and Rojo reached out to Noelle Couper at Warriors Basketball Club in Dublin, Ireland requesting support for this project. The club responded generously, being the main contributor to the near $500 raised for the project. With these funds, new goal posts could be constructed with new hoops and nets, and the courts were cleaned and repainted. Once the funds came through, the community and volunteers came together and completed the work in mere 10 days!
Volunteers wanted to mark the opening of the courts by holding a tournament and the response from the community was overwhelming. Four teams were formed; BB Aliomo, BB Chicago, AS Jetno, and of course the volunteers’ team – Camp. The dedicated teams practiced continuously and were in tiptop shape for the big day. To ensure a fair match, a referee from Nosy Be was brought in to oversee the tournament. People from all over Nosy Komba came to support their teams which resulted in a fun and festive day all around! In round one BB Aliomo beat out BB Chicago and AS Jetno beat out Camp. BB Aliomo won the tournament over AS Jetno in the shootout. The day was shrouded in fun and excitement for sure!
Since the reconstruction of the basketball courts and the tournament, people have been seen enjoying them every day. Villagers young and old, boys and girls can be found shooting hoops and having a great time all day and even into the night with the moonlight! It has truly brought so much joy and togetherness to the villagers of Ampangorina and Nosy Komba. Thank you to all who contributed physically and financially, your contributions will be lasting in the hearts of those who get so much enjoyment with these new courts.