Despite these tough times LSIIDP managed to implement the third activity of the WoW Europe project on the 3rd March, 2021. This activity was a very special due to the value added for thanks to the WoW Europe project and through its activities LSIIDP helped to save a basketball team that had fallen apart within the past year of the pandemic. The basketball team of boys (13-14 years old) was ranked number 1 for the first time of their team a year ago before the pandemic started. The National Youth Championship of Basketball stayed unfinished, but with a hope to restart the basketball engine in autumn. It started, and the boys were ready to compete at the same high level. Yet, it went on for one month only, until the schools were closed again. Luckily, the practices outside, unlike spring, were allowed, and the coaches kept working with their teams under any weather circumstances - be them rainy, snowy or cold up to 10-15 degrees below Celsius. Yet, the weather conditions were tough this winter and many boys stopped attending the practices. Out of the whole basketball team, consisting of 16 boys, only 2-3 kept practicing on a regular basis. And from professionally oriented athletes they turned into children of a sedentary lifestyle not practicing even HEPA. The main reasons of this drop-out from sport were the following: 1) lack of basketball training that was not possible to be practiced outdoors, 2) lost motivation, and even 3) a depression approved by parents of several boys.
Through the project WoW Europe, LSIIDP decided to refer to the call for help of coaches and try to re-unite once so successful basketball team. By involving two famous athletes of Latvia - the previous athlete Kristaps Zaļupe and another Master of Sports and a national level athlete Rihards Parandjuks, who now - after his active career works as a fitness and light athletics coach. Please see his greatest achievements HERE and HERE. Both great athletes started the practice with their experience in sport, their wishes of dropping-out, milestones of overcoming it and greatest achievements and personal satisfaction of the achieved results, especially after a crisis and downturn. A total of 12 boys out of 16 attended this practice on the 3rd March. And another 2 boys joined in within the next week's practices. The coach of the team Viktors Brizgalovs is thankful for this help to the WoW Europe project team, but especially to the Romanian coordinators of this project by involving LSIIDP in it and having a possibility to restart the sport engine in Latvia through the activities of the WoW Europe project. And LSIIDP thanks Marius Dumitru and Alina David for this opportunity. Let's keep fingers crossed for this basketball team to stay joined, overcome the downturn and keep going on, for we believe that the best is yet to come! Video of the activity watch HERE.