This centre is located in Bamako. It welcomes two rugby coaches and one manager Boubacar Traoré, a.k.a “PC’.
Organisation of the centre:
- The centre opens on Saturdays for rugby training. In 2021 it will be open after school every day of the week for tutoring except on Saturday, rugby training day.
- On-site activities: Rugby training ( after-school tutoring in 2021)
The story of this centre :
In the lead-up to a Mali Cup in Bamako on 29 July 2017, the Hippos XV team from Bamako Rugby Club contacted Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) to ask for permission to offer a trophy in his image. This trophy was the reward for Best Player in the Mali Cup. Since then, SBA has been in close contact with Bamako’s Hippos XV and has carried out research into options for developing rugby in Mali. SBA met S.E. Mahamadou Nimaga, Ambassador of Mali to the US to learn more about the country and organised a field trip so that Serge Betsen could experience Mali’s rugby set-up.
Serge Betsen, President of SBA and Odile Prévot, CEO therefore went on a field trip to Mali from 4 to 8 January 2020. Its objectives were to assess the situation for Mali’s youths, to identify their needs, to see young girls and boys from Bamako clubs Hippos XV and Anges Noirs [Black Angels] play rugby, to meet the club’s President and coaches so as to test the case for establishing an SBA centre in Bamako.
A further meeting with M. Arouna Modibo Touré, Mali’s Minister of Youth and Sports strengthened their view that a SBA presence in Mali would serve a real purpose and help convey a passion for rugby and SBA’s values to disadvantaged children in Mali.
At the end of the trip, Serge Betsen received a copy of the trophy in his image. This squared the circle in a way as it is because of this trophy that this adventure started!
In March 2020, SBA’s leadership met to vote on whether to start SBA Mali. Boubacar Traoré a.k.a « PC », SBA’s representative in Mali, became Treasurer for SBA Mali.
SBA now lends a hand to disadvantaged children in Mali. More lives will improve thanks to rugby! A beautiful story is in the making.