B-ball Clinic in Winooski

Last week, thanks to an amazing volunteer team from Glory Fellowship Church, Burlington City Church was able to sponsor a legit basketball clinic on the west side of Winooski.  For those who are not familiar with the Burlington area, Winooski is a tightly packed 1.4 square mile just across the Winooski River from Burlington.  Although most Winooski residents would hate to hear it, the town is basically a “mini-me” of  Burlington and lies closer to Burlington’s downtown area than many of Burlington’s neighborhoods.

The western half of Winooski is the second most diverse community in all of Vermont (second only to Burlington’s Old North End) due primarily to the influx of refugees.  The result is an exploding sub-Saharan African population from countries such as Somalia and Burundi, ethnic stores popping up, an Islamic community center, and over 25 languages being spoken in the public schools. It’s also the neighborhood where our second Home Fellowship was launched this past April.

Our goals were pretty simple:

  • See if a basketball clinic would work in this community.  Glory Fellowship’s team knows basketball so they were the perfect guinea pigs.
  • Learn from the experience to see if the basketball clinic is something our church could replicate in the future.
  • Use the basketball clinic as a relational bridge for our Winooski Home Fellowship to build long-term Jesus-centered relationships in their community.
This clinic was further evidence that the round ball is an effective bridge builder whether we’re in Burlington, Birmingham, or Botswana. We had 25-40 teens attend each day- primarily from Somali and Burundi backgrounds.  They learned serious basketball skills and loved it.  Long-term relationships were built.  A collegiate basketball player from the local community volunteered and following the week’s clinic said she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Best line of the week, from a conversation among some kids on the sidelines watching Glory Fellowship’s Pastor Adam Brewer and Coach Randy Stacner beating two of the teens in a b-ball game:
They just look old.
Below are a  few pics from the week:

2 thoughts on “B-ball Clinic in Winooski

  1. The Apostle Paul’s words come to mind: “I am all things (basketball clinics, etc,) to all men (people) to win some.”


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