In the lead up to this summer’s AIDS2020:Virtual (International AIDS Conference 2020), we initiated the ahead hackathon from July 3rd to July 5th 2020. The goal was to create new, innovative ideas and find solutions to solve the most pressing challenges of the young generation globally. It was a great success. 

More than 350 attendees from 20 countries participated and worked together in groups in order to design their very own project ideas in four different pillars. In the end, as there could only be one winner in each pillar, the groups pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. Five and a half months later, we would like to present each pillar’s winners, their project and what they have been able to achieve, so far. This article is the second in a four part series.

In PILLAR 2: PROTECTION, the Far East Basketball Association, the team of Sports as an Access Tool, were the winners. 

Their project idea centers around building a platform that provides young people with access to contraceptives and credible information through sports. Specifically, the Far East Basketball Association organizes a basketball tournament between different basketball academies in different neighborhoods in Nairobi. The league, launched on World-AIDS-Day (December 1st), will take place over the course of eight months from January 1st to August 30th, 2021. 

The tournament makes it possible to visit the teams in their respective localities and organize workshops and youth forums to educate and share information about contraceptives. Furthermore, the familiar environment makes it easier to reach the young players. 

The educating will be done by Access condom ambassadors. Each team taking part in the tournament, since they represent a different neighborhood, will be asked to select two officials that will be trained as ambassadors for their respective neighborhood. The ambassadors will receive a comprehensive training so that they can fulfill their responsibilities. Apart from being educators, the ambassadors will stock and distribute condoms to the players and track emerging trends in order to remain able to react to any and all developments within their neighborhoods that are relevant to the project. 

Aware of its potential impact, the Far East Basketball Association is keen on incorporating social media into their work, as it is a possibility of sharing relevant information as well as generating high turnouts to the matches. 

In order to increase the quality of the project over time, Sports as an Access Tool is and will be evaluated on a constant basis, which is essential to ensure a  project’s success. 

Sports as an Access Tool is an innovative solution and exactly what we hoped to see as results of the ahead hackathon. We hope that the project reaches as many young people as possible and provides them with condoms as well as the important information. To many great matches!