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Making Backboards with Machetes

Making Backboards with Machetes

Making Backboards with Machetes

This photo is from a Refugee camp in Thailand in 2006.  I was working with Right to Play at the time. Some of the people on the camp had heard that Right to Play set up a basketball court on another camp.  I didn’t know anything about this as it wasn’t our project.  I asked if they wanted to see if we could build one and they were all about it.  I started going on about how we could put up a backboard and a pole next to their soccer field as it seemed like the only place to put it.  I knew that I could find a basketball rim in town (which was about 40 minutes away through the jungle) but other than that, I had no idea how we were going to set it up.  After about 20 minutes of me talking about options (took a long time due to translation), I realized I was talking to a lot of confused faced. I asked what the problem was and they told me they didn’t know what basketball was and had no idea what a basketball hoop looked like. Guess I should have clarified that first.

We ended up using two bamboo sticks for support poles. For the backboard, we used a piece of wood that was being used as a gate to keep the chickens in (I hope they found something else). In the photo, you can see Bo Meh using his machete to cut out holes for the bolts. We erected the hoop beside the soccer field and it worked like a charm…I’ll have to search to see if I still have a photo of the finished product.