Shooting Touch

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Shooting Touch: Empowering young people through basketball

Boston, United StatesRwanda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We empower youth from under-resourced areas of Rwanda and Boston through the sport of basketball by providing them places to play, training local coahces and players, and promoting the ideals of gender equality, health and fitness, disease prevention, and the importance of education and leadership.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a ball could change someone's worldview?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are addressing the lack of structured after-school sports and life skills programs in Rwanda, as well as the public health and social risks that face the country such as HIV/AIDS, gender violence, and violence prevention.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are building courts, training local players and local coaches to promote sustainability in both on-court basketball skills and the life skills of: gender equality and gender violence education; disease (HIV/AIDS) prevention and education; the importance of education; leadership skills; and health and fitness. We incorporate these life skills training into basketball trainings, by having a talk or interactive teaching activity at the end of each lesson, or by just playing and learning about the sport - which can teach so many life lessons alone.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Imagine being born into a world and losing your two parents in one of the worst genocides in world history. You grow up and want to help other kids who may not have a parental figure to look up to, who feel left out, and who face considerably daunting life chances. What other better way to do this than to teach life lessons through sports - both players, coaches, and community members have a platform to get together and be a part of a team.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Currently in Rwanda, Shooting Touch has constructed 4 basketball courts, refurbished 4 other basketball courts, held over 15 community events, created 12 teams, has trained 11 coaches, has distributed over 50 coaching instructional DVDs, and have established 5 places where Shooting Touch certified coaches hold regular basketball and life skills trainings. In Boston, we have a few youth clinics, but are looking to develop a stronger curriculum and long-term programming.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our strategy moving forward in Rwanda is to continue constructing courts, and training coaches and youths, but do so at a faster pace, by sending more coaching trainers and constructing more courts each year. Additionally, we are planning a curriculum overhaul by re-surveying, note-taking, and re-writing our curriculum. Our strategy in Boston moving forward is to survey and write a curriculum and programs that address specific needs of Boston youth, while incorporating our basketball expertise.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are operating on a budget of $50,000/year for our Rwanda Programs, and $20,000/year for our Boston Programs. We are looking to grow and accelerate our Rwanda programming, while legitimizing and growing our Boston programming. Current sources of funding come from a large auction/gala, where returning grantees present their work, a basketball camp, and other small fundraisers. We have begun applying for grants and diversifying our funding

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

While Peace Players International and Hoops 4 Hope have done similar projects, but not in Rwanda. Although there are other NGOs addressing issues we address in our curriculum, we are the only NGO using basketball as a means to teach these lessons. In addition, we train local coaches and players using our grantees, who are recent basketball- and life-skills passionate young people, who run the program entirely on their own, allowing for tremendous growth on both the grantee and participant ends.

Founding Story

Upon meeting with Chris Clunie, and hearing his story of serving as a Thomas J. Watson fellow, where he traveled the world and studied the effects of basketball on people and society, Lindsey and Justin Kittredge saw the growth in not only him but also the communities in which he he worked, and wanted to give this opportunity to other people.


Lindsey Kittredge - full-time - Co-Founder/Director Justin Kittredge - part-time - Co-Founder Casey Stockton - full-time - Director of Basketball Operations.