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leaders of unites #10 shuwendly sophia

My mother is my role model
My name is Shuwendly Sophia and I am 22 years old. Originally, I come from Curaçao, but at the age of four I came to the Netherlands with my mother. During my first years in the Netherlands we lived in many different places. Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam, Osdorp, The Hague, but eventually we returned to Amsterdam. My mother met my stepfather not much later and they remain happy together. They still live there, in Amsterdam Southeast, but I recently started living on my own!

It has been a pretty chaotic start, but I had fun. My mom taught me from an early age to be independent, wash my own clothes, cook, and take care of myself, so living on my own was an easy switch

My mother is really my role model. She pushes herself to get what she wants and deserves. She did everything that she could so that I could go to school, so that we had food and that we had a roof over our heads.

I certainly have my mother’s personality. I have to get the best out of myself, so that I can look back and be happy with what I achieved. 

When they picked me to play in their team, I did not even have the right shoes and clothes yet!
I was about 16 years old when I started playing basketball. Of course, I had shot some hoops before, but I never felt the need to play the sport competitively. A friend of mine told me to participate in a  training at Club 2000 where they would pick the players for next season. I was one of the players they selected! It was quite a surprise, I did not even have the right shoes and clothes, but I was allowed to play in the under 16 team. After this I quickly went to the first team under 18, unfortunately things went completely wrong here. Due to several circumstances we were thrown out of the competition and my first chance to play nationwide failed.

I then switched to basketball club BC Warriors. We won the championship, and this made me so enthusiastic that I decided to seriously pursue basketball. I changed teams again and came to play at BV Amsterdam where we had a very good coach. I learned a lot about basketball there and I started putting even more time into my trainings. I then played first division with the Hoppers for a season and then I went to play DTL at Triple Threat. Nowadays I play or Almere in their promotie divisie team. In the 6 years that I play basketball I have been able to experience many different things, but with the arrival of 3X3 Unites a new chapter started in my life.

With 3X3 everyone plays hard 
I got to know the sport 3X3 when I saw it on Facebook in 2016 during the Streetball Masters. We formed a team and participated in the tournament. We actually went to every tournament that summer, it was great! When I started playing at BC Warriors, I also came into contact with the 3X3 Unites foundation. They were looking for leaders for their first Leader Course and I signed up for it immediately. The sport is great fun for me because you can play much more physically. With 3X3 everyone plays hard. You are constantly on the court, and there is a lot of one-on-one interaction. I think that is a very nice way of playing basketball.

Once I started working as a 3X3 Leader at 3X3 Unites, many more doors opened up for me. Nowadays I am also part of the social media team, I take pictures for the foundation and we are working on a really cool podcast!

For my study International Business Management, I also successfully completed my graduation thesis at 3X3 Unites. This was about how 3X3 Unites can improve their brand in Curaçao, so that they can set up a Leader Course there.

Now 3X3 Unites is not really known there and the sport of 3X3 basketball is still very much on the rise. To introduce a successful Leader Course there, we must first make the sport much more popular and then we can offer the life skill courses through 3X3 Unites. I would really like to be part of the introduction of 3X3 Unites in Curaçao. Maybe I can go and set up the Course myself, that would be very cool!

3X3 NEXT is a platform for enthusiasts, where we come together through sport and lifestyle
I also created the Instagram page 3X3 NEXT for Unites. For me, basketball is not just the sport, but the appeal is in the entire lifestyle. Fashion, sneakers, urban sports, music, and dance, I think that is all part of it and it also forms a kind of community. 3X3 Unites did not have such a platform yet, even though they did want to bring everyone together, so this seemed ideal to me. Now 3X3 NEXT is really a platform for enthusiasts, where we come together through sport and lifestyle. My dream is that 3X3 Next will eventually be booming and that there will be a large center where everyone can register for basketball, dance lessons, music lessons, photography, or other creative activities. A center to develop yourself, to get to know people, or simply to relax together.

From childhood my dream has always been to go to America
I do have ambitious plans for the future! In five years’, time I see myself sitting in Miami, on my own boat, with a cocktail in my hand. From childhood my dream has always been to go to America. Mainly because of all the movies and series you watch. Unfortunately, the situation in America is not ideal for everyone at the moment, but at least I can see myself living abroad. Hopefully, I will have also founded several companies, including my own Branding Consultancy company and a photo- and videography company. Of course, I know that this vision of the future is ambitious, but I am a go-getter, and I will always keep going until I have achieved what I want!