South African Airways (SAA) is a joint sponsor of the African 100 Camp, a US National Basketball Association (NBA) initiative to help talented young African players improve their game and life skills.
The camp will take place from 2 to 7 September at the American International School in Johannesburg, and will be coached by top basketball players, including Dikembe Mutombo from the Congo, Portland Trail Blazers center Ruben Boumtje Boumtje from Cameroon, Toronto Raptors center Mamadou N`diaye and Cleveland Cavaliers center DeSagana Diop, both from Senegal.
The basketball camp is the first of its kind in Africa to incorporate basketball instruction and educational programs addressing important social issues for the top 100 young players between 16 and 20, from South Africa and 18 other African countries.
“As the best airline in Africa, SAA plays a major role in sport sponsorship on the continent. We wish the youngsters participating in the Africa 100 camp well in emulating some of the best in the world. Who knows, some of them may end up playing some of the best NBA teams in the US,” says André Viljoen, SAA President and CEO.
“As the leading airline on the continent we are again proud to commit ourselves to a great game. Combining sport with the teaching of life skills adds further weight to our sponsorship.”
The camp has been organized by the NBA, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Basketball South Africa (BSA).
“Africa 100 Camp is designed to promote, expose and strengthen the culture of basketball among the continent`s youth,” said Vusi Mgobhozi, President, Basketball South Africa.
“It gives the youngsters the chance to advance their basketball and opens doors to further formal education.”
Led by Love-Life—South Africa`s national HIV prevention program for youth—the seminars will promote leadership and healthy living, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse education and prevention.
Other sponsors of the Africa 100 camp, are Barry Callebaut, Dia, Metro FM, Molten, Reebok, Spalding and Sprite.
The highlight of the camp will be the unveiling of a Reading and Learning Center at the Ithuteng Trust, a school for troubled youth, on Sept. 4. The Reading and Learning Center, the first to be open outside of North America, will provide thousands of donated books, resource guides, and materials to children.
In the past, SAA has sponsored major sporting events such as the Cricket Word Cup, and is currently the title sponsor of the South African Airways Open and SAA Supa 8 soccer event.
In November, SAA will be sponsoring one of the world`s major golf tournaments, the President`s Cup to be held in George. The SAA Open is being held in every January.
SAA, is a world class airline with a string of awards behind its name. These range
from best domestic airline, to best African airline and best international airline travelling to Africa.
Already this year the airline has won three crucial awards at the Association for South African Travel Agents (ASATA) Congress: Best African Airline, Best Domestic Airline and Best International Airline flying to South Africa.
For the third time in a row, the airline has been voted as the best airline in
Africa by the renowned British-based airline benchmarking company, Skytrax and was also awarded the OAG Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa for the fifth consecutive year.
The leadership role the airline plays in Africa has become even more important with South Africa`s re-admission to the International Civil Aviation Organisation after more than 40 years of isolation. ICAO is a United Nations civil aviation body based in Montreal, Canada and represented by 188 countries worldwide.