Xperience Outreach British Virgin Islands

Tortola, VI – Participants of a basketball workshop for children at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duffs Bottom have been getting the enviable opportunity of interacting with a couple of NBA players.

The workshop has been organised by the Save the Seed Energy Centre in collaboration with the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Bishop John I. Cline of the New Life Baptist Church disclosed that some of the facilitators included NBA players such as Michael James (Dallas Mavericks) and Anthony Bonner (NY Knicks). He also said the idea for the programme came from discussions with Rich Mahler III of Xperience Outreach, which is based in the United States (US).

The one-week workshop is part of a month long camp that is also being hosted at the Centre.

“The whole idea of the Centre is being realised in a programme like this,” Bishop Cline said. “One of the things we always wanted to do is make an impact in the lives of the kids by providing different avenues where they can come in and develop their skills whether it be in basketball [or] volleyball, learn some disciplines and just begin to impart some things into their lives that they will use for the rest of their lives.”

Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser, RA commended Bishop Cline for having the vision to build the facility and called the camp a marvellous idea.

“When I heard about the camp I enquired about what it would take to get the children in here and when I found out what it was, it was within my reach and I sponsored twenty kids for the camp,” Hon. Fraser said.

The legislator expressed that after examining it, he wished it was something that could go all year round but said he knew the undertaking that Bishop Cline had to do in brining persons from the United States (US) and said he realised this couldn’t continue.

Hon. Fraser said he hoped locals could be trained to run camps similar to the current one even as persons were brought from the US.

Bishop Cline expressed that the Third District Representative’s sponsorship of some of the participants was “a great help” and said these were some of the first persons to be signed up for the camp. He also noted that many persons signed up at the last minute.

Reflecting on the Department of Youth Affairs participation, he said, “Youth Affairs sent some people with some coaches and we realised that we had a good working relationship not only with the district but also with government and partnership with Youth Affairs. That’s what we hoped to achieve.”

Bishop Cline further stated that even though the camp does not go on all year round, there were other avenues that allowed the Centre to be used to continue to develop persons such as the basketball league.

Hon. Fraser encouraged persons to join the camp to participate in other sports disciplines in future and added, “In order for this facility to be successful, it has to be kept occupied and this is one of the avenues that we can use to make sure that it stays occupied. This is not just a Third District affair, the Bishop put it here, it’s a wonderful idea and I would hope everyone from across the entire BVI, if necessary [and] definitely Tortola will see the benefits in having this facility and use it.”

Bishop Cline said he felt parents would begin to see the benefits of the camp after attending the closing ceremony of the basketball workshop on Friday night, “We invite the parents to come. They will see some of the basketball drills that the kids have learnt and we’re going to have some exhibition games from some of the participants of the camp…” He also stated that each day is started with small devotions and expressed that there was also some amount of motivational speaking involved.

“We want the parents to see the fruit of their investment by coming on Friday night,” Bishop Cline said, “and hopefully when we do it again, they will know that it’s beneficial.”

He cited the importance of having facilitators such as James and said some of the local coaches have commented about not seeing similar levels of coaching and instruction since college. “Bringing people from outside, especially professional athletes who have gone through the drills and know what it takes to achieve that level of success is very significant”

Richard Mahler Jr  has been participating in running the workshop as one of the coaches and said there were positive life changing experiences to be derived. The Xperience Outreach programme has also been executed in other places such as Israel, Colombia and Panama apart from the US.