Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and NBA Africa hold a three-day training programme for physical education (PE) school teachers and basketball coaches at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos from 9-11 May.

As part of Jr. NBA and AFD Basketball Experience, the training will equip 150 teachers and 20 coaches with necessary skills and knowledge to use the transformative power of the game of basketball to educate boys and girls participating in Jr. NBA and AFD Basketball Experience about physical and mental wellbeing, life skills, healthy living, and more.

The teachers and coaches will explore the role of basketball in the school sports curriculum, learn about various basketball and coaching methodologies, and discover best ways of identifying and nurturing basketball talent in the programme.

The opening ceremony was attended by General Consul of France in Lagos, Mrs. Laurence Monmayrant, AFD Director Nigeria Xavier Muron, NBA Academy Africa Associate Technical Director Joe Touomou and Dream Sports Africa Country Director Michael Anejo.

AFD Director for Nigeria, Xavier Muron said: “AFD strongly supports initiatives which use sports as a vector for education, social awareness and inclusion. We see the Basketball Experience Programme as a way to achieve the sustainable development goals.”

“It empowers and builds the capacity of the physical education teachers with basketball global practice while promoting physical well-being, mental health, lifestyles and all necessary skills needed to impact the students to become future citizens.”

In the same vein, General Consul of France in Lagos, Mrs. Laurence Monmayrant said she is proud to see so much work put in by the NBA and AFD.

“As the French Consul General in Lagos, I am particularly proud to see the work that has been done between the French Development Agency, the NBA and their local partner Dream Sports Africa. The training which is taking place is a tangible result of the announcement made by President Macron on his visit to Nigeria in 2018: France strongly believes in the youth empowerment through sports and especially through basketball as it helps them acquire core values like respect, self-confidence, and solidarity. In doing so, we aim at having a positive impact on their wellbeing and their future.”

NBA Africa VP and Country Head of NBA Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu is confident the collaboration with AFD will yield more results and successes.

“We are thrilled to host the coaches and educators’ training in Lagos this week as part of our longstanding collaboration with AFD to support basketball infrastructure and youth development. We remain committed to using the game as a vehicle for youth empowerment in Nigeria and have a great teacher in Joe Touomou with us this week. Equipping more coaches and educators with the necessary skills to teach and train our boys and girls the right way is paramount, and we look forward to continuing to expand our footprint throughout this collaboration.”

Country Director of Dream Sport Africa, Michael Anejo added, “We are committed to using the transformative power of the game of basketball for positive social change in Lagos secondary schools. This unique training experience for sports officers and physical education teachers will elevate the level of youth development through basketball in Nigeria.”

“The trainees will be provided with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop thousands of Nigerian boys and girls through Basketball Experience. The game is a great way to promote fitness and healthy living, but also teaches valuable lessons in teamwork, discipline and communication. We are excited about the positive impact this training event will have on the participants, the schools and Lagos State in general.”

NBA Academy Africa Associate Technical Director Joe Tououmou will facilitate the basketball sessions.

Jr. NBA and AFD Basketball Experience is part of AFD and NBA Africa’s larger collaboration to support basketball infrastructure in youth development across the continent and builds on the inaugural Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience launched in Zenata, Morocco in 2019.

In November 2021, AFD and NBA Africa initiated a pilot phase in Lagos implemented by international non-governmental organization Dream Sports Africa. To date, the programme has reached more than 21,000 boys and girls ages 12-17 from 55 public and private schools in Lagos State.