This past Thursday I received a text from a friend saying, “call me when you get this”. I dialed her number and expected some new idea or exciting news for community development, as we discuss the topic rather frequently.
Instead her voice projected a show that was happening at 7 at the local high school we were both alumni. She notes it involved basketball. Living in rural Newfoundland, I am always excited to partake in entertainment and social activities from local talent or CFA’s (Come From Aways). Little did I know how educational and empowering the message would be from a game of basketball.
The one-hour program highlighted a simple 5 on 5 play from local community stars vs. The Canadian Half Pints (a team of dwarfs from around the world who talk to youth about bullying).
More than 200 people poured into the high school gym. The bleachers were filled with a crowd of children, youth, parents, grandparents, teachers and general public cheering on both teams. The game started with the Half Pints taking a big lead of 18-0. The Community Stars managed to get it together and catch up.
The game had many entertaining moments with strong messages. Some included standing up for yourself, even to someone bigger than you. The goal was to keep bullying out of schools and off the courts.
Bullying can be very damaging and have a devastating role on a person’s development. It often leads to loss of self-esteem and sometimes even worse – suicide.
The Half Pints may be small in size, but their contribution to the development of others is overwhelmingly large! They show people that anything is possible and that there is no room for bullying, as it can only lead to poor results.
I am unsure if there was a clear victor from the game. However, I know the rural residents all won by attending this anti-bullying program.
After 31 years and still running all across the country, it illustrates there is still much to do to reduce bullying in all facets of our lives. Keep up the great work Half-Pints.
Live Rural NL- CCM