What is the national sport of Ethiopia

"Addis Afros Basketball Club" in Ethiopia

background

Ethiopia is known as one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite the economic boom in recent years, officially more than 1/3 of the population live below the poverty line. Ethiopia's cities are growing at a rapid pace. In most cases, however, the city administrations lack the financial means to provide sufficient infrastructure for the population. Since there is already a lack of basic supplies such as electricity, water and garbage and sewage disposal, it is not surprising that there are few funds for social infrastructure such as sports facilities or youth clubs. Sport plays an important role for children and young people, especially in Africa, who are so often the victims of the growing gap between rich and poor. Like everywhere else in the world, sport in Ethiopia is an outlet for accumulated frustration, a source of new motivation and a means of dealing with conflicts and learning social etiquette.

Basketball in Ethiopia Aside from football and the national sport of long-distance running, basketball has so far received little public attention. But sport is becoming increasingly popular, especially in cities. The stars of the North American professional league NBA have recently started reaching kids of all ages and income groups through satellite TV and the Internet. Associations and city leagues are formed and competitions and tournaments are held. Of course, everything takes place on a very low level. Even in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, the few open spaces are mostly in poor condition and only accessible for a fee. The only public hall in the 4 million metropolis is hopelessly overbooked. Established club structures are hardly present in basketball and therefore hardly offer interested young people the opportunity to pursue their hobby. In addition to 2 professionally run basketball clubs (sponsored by Ethiopian Airways or a state construction company), there are hardly any sustainable club structures. Most young people are left to their own devices to look after a training ground and the necessary equipment and to finance it. A hurdle that only a few master and thus makes club sport inaccessible to the majority of interested young people. Despite the poor starting conditions and the many obstacles, interest in the sport has been aroused and the passion for basketball sparked in many.

The "Addis Afros Basketball Club"

The "Addis Afros Basketball Club" was founded in 2008 by two Germans living in Ethiopia (Daniel Rauf and Martin Dirr) with the vision of promoting basketball in Ethiopia and offering interested children and young people the opportunity to pursue their hobby and benefit from the positive ones Aspects of sport to be able to benefit.

Since then, the association has been pursuing the following goals:
1. Create a sustainable and reliable club structure that is open to children and young people from all income groups interested in basketball. On the one hand, the club wants to promote and develop talented young players, on the other hand, it also wants to be a contact point for young people for whom sport can serve as an outlet for everyday worries. In particular, the association wants to reach children and young people who would otherwise have no access to sport due to their economic situation. With the planned establishment of a women's team, young women and girls, who traditionally play a disadvantaged role in Ethiopia, should have an equal opportunity to pursue their hobby.
2. Improve the image of sport in Ethiopia by holding public (streetball) tournaments and thus generating official interest.
3. Facilitate access to sport by acquiring sponsors for the construction or maintenance of play areas.

Since 2008 the "Addis Afros Basketball Club" has registered a men's team in the 1st basketball league in Addis Ababa. The trainings take place 3 times a week on an open space and are open to everyone and every woman. In addition to the 12 permanent club players, there are often 10-15 children and young people who take part in the training. In the case of financial support, a youth and a women's team should follow.

Thanks to its professional and transparent structure, the association serves as a model for other associations. When selecting club players, emphasis is placed on giving young and talented players a chance and choosing players who, through their behavior and attitudes, are role models for other young people. The club has already played successfully in the Addis Ababa Basketball League for two seasons. The development has far exceeded expectations. The mostly still very young players develop more and more their potential and also strengthened self-confidence in their personal abilities.

Thanks to the generous support of the “Antonia-Ruut Foundation”, the association succeeded in building a concrete sports field for a community project in the poor district of Kirkos this year. In cooperation with German premier league basketball clubs, similar projects are to be carried out and coordinated by the "Addis Afros" in the future.

In October the "Addis Afros" organize the first Ethiopian streetball tournament. Up to 20 teams will compete against each other on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on two consecutive weekends.

Support of the “Addis Afros” basketball club

The aim is to put the association financially on its own and to create a sustainable management structure. In the current season, an Addis Afros women's team is also playing for the first time.