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Empowered by 3X3 - sharing knowledge on scaling up the power of 3X3 for social change

In the midst of the exciting atmosphere of the World Tour Masters on October 6th, 3X3 Unites and its partners organized an exclusive knowledge session to share the insights gained in expanding the power of 3X3 for social change to more places through the EU co-funded project ‘Empowered by 3X3’. This session created a platform for mutual learning, inspiration and the gathering of new ideas to future develop 3X3 basketball from bottom-up to all levels.

Mažvydas Liutkus, on behalf of Streetball Copenhagen and Lena Landgraf from 3X3 Academy Düsseldorf were present to share their lessons learned through their active participation in the “Empowered by 3x3” project which is led by 3X3 United. Mažvydas is one of the first nine international 3X3 facilitators that were educated during the project and Lena is part of one of the partner organizations to which we are scaling up the power of 3X3. They took this opportunity to highlight the project’s success stories and challenges faced in execution.

According to Mažvydas, "It was a great success in Copenhagen. We witnessed young leaders who came in shy and were hesitant to take ownership in what they were doing. However, throughout the past two months, we saw great transformations, making the project even more interesting. We did encounter some initial challenges, particularly in recruiting leaders and maintaining effective communication within the organization. However, it is also crucial that we raise awareness about 3X3 Unites and its vision and mission, as the organization isn't widely known in Copenhagen. By promoting greater awareness of what 3X3 Unites represents and the impact it creates, we can expand our reach and connect with a broader audience."Some of the key insights is thus that the approach works! Young people get inspired and empowered! For scaling up to new places in a bottom-up way, the education of 3X3 facilitators that can educate 3X3 leaders is a key element to start with.

In the words of Lena, “We saw the potential in leaders growing and using the sport as a tool for personal growth. Although we were already involved in similar projects in Germany, 3X3 Unites provided us with a clear and adaptive structure to follow. Of course, each location will face their own individual challenges, but through gatherings like this session, we have the opportunity to connect with each other to share ideas and come up with solutions. This project provided us with a good start to further grow 3X3 Unites in Germany together”. 
Now in the second half of the project EB3X3, the focus is on scaling up locally, creating lasting impact with local stakeholders and developing the local ecosystem based on all the existing elements. 

The session continued with inspiration from Joscha de Vries of Utrecht, who discussed the social impact of urban sports, the importance of community engagement, facilitating structures and the role of governmental bodies to facilitate urban sports. She emphasized the importance of using urban sports to reduce barriers to sports participation, and create more positive spaces in the community. The importance of having access to ‘dry spaces’ was also discussed, ensuring that the youth can continue to play their sports without the concerns of the weather. Indoor safety is of high importance, given that the intention is not to create spaces that call for unlawful activities. The ultimate goal is to develop urban sports spaces to introduce a variety of sports activities to the community. This session concluded with a Q&A and discussions in small varied groups on the actions all participants feel inspired to take now to further contribute to the development of 3X3 basketball as a tool for social change. Mo Tahir from the NGO DUNK-GRASSROOTS in Ghana:  “I have numerous projects and ideas in my head, but the initial step is to bring together all grassroots urban sports creators."

Quotes from participants:
Petra Matijanic, 3X3 facilitator from Düsseldorf: “All the ideas I have in my head, I now have to put them into action”.

Mo Tahir, NGO DUNK-GRASSROOTS: "I believe we should explore the possibility of creating an online platform where everyone can share ideas and stay updated."

Joost Hartman, Gemeente Amsterdam: "We need more opportunities for personal exchange to grow together. Sessions like these are valuable because they allow us to meet in person for discussions.”