At the British International School Shanghai, Puxi campus, the Under 19 Division 1 girls’ basketball team have inspired some of the younger students to want to play the game and be part of a team like the BISS Lions.
After coming to watch the triumphant BISS Lions team play at the ACAMIS basketball tournament hosted by BISS Puxi earlier this year, a number of Year 6 girls were so impressed that they announced that the older girls were their new ‘sporting heroines’ and that they wanted to get their autographs!
Their teachers and the basketball coaches were keen to encourage this interest and so arranged for the girls to meet some of the basketball team and have lunch together. The younger girls could then ask them a few questions and hear more about the sport and what it takes to play for a winning team.
“I was very pleased to see the interest and enthusiasm the girls had for the sport and for talking to the older students about the game” said Mark Wilson, one of their teachers and coach of the girls’ basketball team. “There’s the chance that this kind of interest could lead to a mentoring leadership project where secondary student athletes mentor younger children, invite them to watch games, give them tips, things that could really make a difference to a young athlete.”
The girls met with Salla Tuomaala in Year 12, the team captain and Marit Wienholts in Year 11. “I was surprised when I heard they wanted to talk to us – it was lovely to think that we had inspired some younger children to be interested in basketball” commented Marit, “they asked us to coach them which is something that I would love to do as it would be great to see them develop and learn to love the game.”
“They asked us lots of questions. They wanted to know how long we had been playing, how it felt to play in big tournaments like ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) and whether we were all friends in the team” said the two girls. “We told them that training and playing together was a lot of fun, but you need to put in a lot of hard work too. It’s important that you are close as a team and learn to communicate.”
Jocelyn Chok, Julie Petermans, Helena Wang, Sarah Marshall and Helena Tang, all from Year 6, said, “We wanted to talk to Marit and Salla because a lot of us play netball and really enjoy it and so we were curious to see if basketball was in any way similar. We found out that they love basketball and they train every day so they are really experienced. They told us that the most important thing to work on is team spirit and communication. You also need to practice a lot to be part of an amazing team like theirs. We hope we will be one day!”