By Ben Young
Jasmine Bishop grew up in Maine and graduated from Thomas College with a BA and an MA in sport management. Matt McGinley is a Californian with a degree in Communications and the beginnings of a career in marketing and web development. Both Jasmine and Matt love basketball and in October 2015 they moved to Rwanda to share their experience and love of the game with children and teachers all over the country.
Matt and Jasmine are the most recent pair of Shooting Touch Basketball Health Corps Fellows. Founded in 2007, Shooting Touch is a Boston based sport education program that uses basketball to teach teamwork, health, gender equality, and leadership. In 2010 Shooting Touch added an international Sabbatical program and started sending recent college graduates around the world to provide basketball instruction and build facilities. To date, 10 Shooting Touch fellows have helped build facilities and establish programs in Rwanda, Brazil, South Africa, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.
Before leaving, Jasmine said her personal goal was to improve and expand the health education of the children in her program. She’s been documenting her time in Rwanda on the Shooting Touch blog and is already excited about how she’s been able to expand the program (by offering LA Laker’s jerseys as a reward for regular attendance) and how eager all of her students are.
Another vital part of the Shooting Touch program is building and refurbishing basketball facilities. Since the program started they’ve built 4 brand new courts and refurbished twice as many. The fellows have also provided schools and teams with basketball equipment including balls, nets, and jerseys. With new equipment, and the expert guidance and enthusiasm of the Fellows, Shooting Touch provides kids all over the world with the tools they need for a healthier lifestyle.