Thursday, April 4, 2019

Australian-South Sudanese basketballer Mayor Chagai will speak at the Blacktown Forum to share his story of struggle and success with basketball in Western Sydney.

Mayor Chagai, basketball coachOnce a child refugee, Chagai founded a basketball program, Savannah Pride, that is credited with changing the lives of many African youth. A keen sportsman, Chagai saw the need for bringing African youth in off the streets of Blacktown, and for improving relations with the local police. 

'His basketball program Savannah Pride is more than just a game,' said community organizer Andrew Flynn. 'Chagai is dedicated to academic performance and believes that every young person must commit to a tuition program to support their schoolwork. If they don’t study, they simply are not allowed to play.'

Not only has the program promoted school achievement and reduced youth violence on the streets of Blacktown, it has become a regular scouting ground for talent spotters from the US. At least 14 young basketballers trained by Chagai have been offered sporting scholarships and have gone on to play internationally.

The Australian Broadcasting Coporation (ABC) featured the story of Mayor Chagai and the Savannah Pride club on the Australian Story segment, 'Shooting for the Stars'. 

To hear more from Chagai in person, join us for Australians Sharing a New Story. The program takes place from 3 - 5 May 2019 across four venues in Blacktown, New South Wales. You'll also have opportunity to share your own Australian story! 

Initiatives of Change Australia and SydWest Multicultural Services are collaborating to organize the weekend. You can register to attend on Eventbrite and keep up to date on the Facebook page - please 'like', 'share' and especially, comment!

Australians Sharing a New Story is a volunteer community-backed initiative with no government funding. All contributions, large or small, are welcome - you can donate here via GoFundMe. - Delia Paul

  • To get involved in the Blacktown Forum, contact program coordinator Daniel Gobena

Savannah Pride basketball team, Blacktown, NSW