Jamaat Belize assists prisons, helps youth through sport and sees basketball victory

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Maham Warraich, Belize

Central Prison of Belize

Belize Central Prison is the sole correctional facility in the country of Belize, located in Hattieville. In a recent meeting with the CFO of the prison, Mr Murillo, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize discussed different ways of rehabilitation of prisoners.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize desired to help reform the youth, even those who are currently serving time in prison, as they are also members of our society.

Jamaat Belize uses sports as an avenue to attract youngsters to healthy activities which lead children to exhaust energy in positive activities instead of evil. 

Thus, it was decided to donate to the Central Belize Prison for basketball equipment. This would include two basketball backboards and basketballs, one in the youth portion of the prison and one in the adult. 

To inaugurate and celebrate the opening of these new courts a formal opening was conducted by Mr Murillo where media was also invited. All major media outlets were present at the event.

Grace primary basketball court

Recently the locals who live near Grace Primary School approached Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize and requested assistance in the upkeep of the community basketball court. As there is a high population of youngsters in this specific area, it was necessary to ensure the youth have sports as an outlet for energy. Otherwise, it becomes very easy to fall into the trap of vices. 

Many families in this area have been struggling to make ends meet due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making it essential for Jamaat Belize to provide new backboards and rims for this court. 

We also took advantage of this opportunity and helped with the cleanup of the park. Involving the youth to help clean the park and trim the grass so that a safe and clean environment could be provided for the youth to play in.

Along with this, hygienic packages were put together and distributed by Jamaat Belize to all the athletes present for this event so that we, as a community, can help assist in ensuring the cleanliness of the athletes as well. Soap, shampoo, body spray along with some treats were given to all athletes.

End-of-year children’s toys drive by Lajna

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize held its first-ever end-of-year drive for children’s toys to be distributed. This was done by the Lajna of Belize. 

As the fight against Covid-19 continues to spark daily news and breaks daily death totals, Jamaat Belize felt the necessity to help the struggling communities of Belize by putting a smile on the faces of children.

As Belize is a country already struggling to remain above the poverty line, as more than 50% is below the poverty line, small acts of helping those in need comes a long way. 

In the West where we are racing to compete with the latest trends, people in Belize struggle to put food on the table for their families – therefore the thought of receiving gifts is completely foreign. 

Lajna Imaillah Belize decided to target small areas where children would not be receiving gifts. Small gift bags were made and distributed to struggling families so that children could enjoy toys whilst benefitting from school supplies as well. 

The packages included a variety of different toy games and puzzles along with writing utensils and notebooks. Along with the mentioned items, small treats and a card were also added to the packages. 

The success of the Ahmadiyya Basketball U-17 team

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize took part in an exciting basketball tournament in Chetumal, Mexico this past weekend. The Big Ballers International Basketball Tournament Organised by ABC Basketball Academy hosted hundreds of players from Mexico, Guatemala and Belize to engage in friendly competition. 

The participants from this team came from three city clubs namely, Belama Gators, Future Shock and ABS Hard Rock. The players were pooled together and taught different drills to solidify the chemistry needed to go into a weekend tournament like this and come out with a victory.

The first game played was against the Guardians from Cancun which ended 71-9 in favour of Ahmadiyya Belize. The second game was played later that day where the Ahmadiyya Belize team played a team from Chetumal who has been trained to play in Belizean style. Although the Chetumal team had two Belizean players on their roster, Ahmadiyya Belize managed to win with a significant margin of 58-17. The next day of the tournament came with the added pressure to do well to position well for the playoffs. The first game ended 66-31 and the second which ended 57-24, both victories in favour of Ahmadiyya Belize.

The last day of the tournament consisted of the semi-finals and finals. The semi-final game saw the boys in action against Modelo Maya, a crowd favourite to win it all. With the finals at stake, it was no surprise that this game drew a huge crowd. Ahmadiyya Belize gathered together knowing this game wouldn’t be easy. When the dust settled, Ahmadiyya Belize walked away with a big 51-37 win and subsequently advanced to the finals. 

The final game was played at 3 pm on Sunday, against a very familiar opponent, the Alphas from Chetumal. This team is from a basketball academy that places great emphasis on playing the sport with excellence. Their team has previously entered the annual Ahmadiyya Basketball League to learn and practice our style of play as well as to recruit promising young stars. From the first whistle initiating tipoff to the last buzzer, both teams fought tooth and nail to come out on top. By the grace of Allah, Ahmadiyya Belize earned a hard-fought victory, 59-29 and were crowned the champions of the Big Ballers Tournament 2021, alhamdulillah.

A morning show was organised by the local media outlets to celebrate the success of the Ahmadiyya Basketball U-17 team. 

Throughout the journey of the tournament, several media sources along with the community of Belize took a very keen interest in the success attained by the young shining stars. This included Mr Kevin Bernard – Minister of Youth Sports and E-Governance who along with hundreds of other supportive fans all joined the Facebook live stream coverage.

Coaches and members of the team were interviewed as they shined bright in the spotlight of Belize.

Along with the show, lunch was also arranged for the champions at the City Council of Belize. This lunch was arranged for all players and staff by the Mayor of Belize City.

This was just a small token of appreciation by the council to show support to the young stars. All team members introduced themselves and enjoyed an informal setting where they could laugh and bond with their teammates. Official team pictures of the champions were also taken to commemorate the achievement of the U-17 Ahmadiyya Basketball team.

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