Street Racket at Pollsmoor Prison
Today marked one of the most significant single events in the development of Street Racket as an international movement game for all. Co-founder Marcel Straub was invited to Pollsmoor Prison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollsmoor_Prison) to conduct a workshop with the staff and inmates - and he also connected with the history of this amazing country. Nelson Mandela did a part of his prison time at this maximum security prison that can accommodate up to 5000 offenders and has a staff number of 1300.
Under the supervision of the operations manager and the head of the detention unit along with a number of warders, a very well received and playful introduction to Street Racket took place in one of the many courtyards with a selected group of inmates. During the two hours of activity the inmates were adressed as "ambassadors of Street Racket at Pollsmoor" and as "assistant coaches" which made them very proud and happy - for a good reason. The participants of the course were very motivated to transport the concept across the many sections of Pollsmoor and took great pride in that task - and they were also gifted with racket skills and full of positive energy. Everyone involved was convinced and extremely excited that Street Racket will now be a hit everywhere at this enormous institution. It was also very nice to see inmates and staff united as one during the various game forms.
"Street Racket will give them all something very meaningful to do, and it will therefore reduce frustration and aggression within these walls", the operations manager stated during the class. "It puts these guys in a happy place for a while and they can forget about the rest, that is much needed here", the sports coordinator added.
And there was more impact yet to come. The directory board at Pollsmoor wants to paint permanent Street Racket courts in all of their courtyards immediately, including the women´s section. We are very happy to announce that this powerful cooperation also means that Pollsmoor will be the first non commercial manufacturer of Street Racket rackets in South Africa, which they will produce in their own woodshop, starting today. We will closely work together and test the equipment that will also be sporting the Street Racket logo as an official trademark.
"Marcel, we really need to thank you for such a great project. There is so much excitement all over and my staff can´t wait to play some more rounds again. You can´t comprehend the impact Street Racket is making to all of us equally. Please pass our gratitude to your team, thanks a million on behalf of everyone".
We received this letter from the management shortly after leaving Pollsmoor and it almost had us in tears. We are very excited to see all the upcoming activity and the positive effects they will cause and we are sure this example can be followed by many prisons around the globe.