From June 14th to July 9th 2021, after a one-year break due to the pandemic, UMANA Reyer organized its basketball camp "dedicated to young lionesses and lions". The four-week summer camp involved girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 12. This is a particularly complex developmental stage, in which sports play a key role in dispersing energy, building team spirit, and personal growth. Measuring oneself against and with others is essential during such a critical period.
"For many of the participants," says Massimiliano Casoni, youth physical trainer and minibasket organizational manager, "it was the first experience of sharing after one year of further closures." After just two weeks of training in October 2020, the teams had to stop again due to the restrictions. "In January, we were only able to start with years 2009 and 2010," but younger kids did not had a chance to return to the field until the summer camp.
"I think the real rediscovery for the kids was the idea of sharing and being together, something they had missed over the past year." It's about "sharing the game with their teammates," but even more than that, "the social aspect firstly of the sport itself and then of the camp is fundamental right now, it is key for the growth of our children." The importance of these elements is valuable on multiple levels, "both in a post-pandemic context and in the society we're going to live in in our next future." Distance from screens during the hours of activities also helps: "many of them already have a phone or a tablet," hence "the tendency to isolate themselves and lose interest in playing a sport."
Compared to previous years, "there was one main difference": the kids were no longer used to sharing sports, to being together and in contact with each other. In basketball, as in any other team sport, "teamwork is fundamental to succeed," a habit that is built not only by learning the technique but by spending time together and sharing experiences both on and off the court.
After a period of forced distance, sport has even more value for young kids: "sharing starts when you get into the locker room, you talk and stay together, you help each other". This spirit brings a series of teachings with it that are valid across the board. If they are lacking, there is a risk of "entering into a sort of individualism or loneliness, which is never good for you, but above all is harmful when you are young". On the other hand, "nothing like basketball can help ensure that this doesn't happen."
After a difficult year, the camp was an opportunity to give the right value back to the sport and remind us that it is much more than just a game. Morocolor is proud to give its contribution to the youth teams of UMANA Reyer and help in its small way to spread the value of sharing among children.