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Staycation Spotlight: Molenbeek Rebels Play

Photo from Molenbeek Rebels Play.

While the coronavirus pandemic has made travelling abroad difficult, there’s plenty of fun to be had right here in Brussels. Brussels Staycation, or StaycationBXL, is a series of initiatives designed to help Brussels residents make the most of their summer in the city.

Today’s spotlight is on Molenbeek Rebels Play, whose Staycation project is designed both for kids and by kids.

Molenbeek Rebels Basketball is a social-sports organisation focused on the personal development and empowerment of girls growing up in vulnerable situations, building on their passion for basketball.

Each girl is given the opportunity to design a tailor-made pathway with the goal of developing talents, committing to club work, and earning a diploma or acquiring competencies outside of formal education, in order for her to build a toolbox of practical and mental skills that she can use to help her in everyday life. Fun, equality, communication, self-reflection, participation and personal responsibility are central to their mission.

For their Summer Staycation project, involving the girls in the planning was therefore a given.

“The girls are involved in everything that the club does,” Nabil Fallah, project coordinator for Molenbeek Rebels Basketball, told The Brussels Times.

“They decide everything that can happen in the basketball club. That’s why we wanted to incorporate them in the Staycation project.”

The girls were asked to think about what they like to do in the summer, especially those who remain in the city. After some brainstorming, they came up with two different ideas for Staycation projects: a basketball-focused initiative, and a bike tour of the Belgian capital.

“Kids will create something, like a game or construction about basketball,” said Fallah of the first project.

“The second is a bike tour around Brussels – inside and outside of the city – to give kids a chance to discover new sports in Brussels.”

The two initiatives are open to both boys and girls from inside and outside of Brussels.

As for who they’re expecting to take interest in the sports-centred activities, Fallah expects an enthusiastic crowd of young people and families.

“Kids that are not going on vacation, everyone who might be bored – for people who are not able to pay for camps or activities, or families that can’t afford a vacation, it’s a great opportunity for them to have fun during the summer.”

The “B-Ball Creation” workshops will be held every Tuesday and Friday throughout July, and the bike tours will be done in August, on the 3rd, 5th, 10th, 12th, 17th and 19th of the month.

The club is located at Gillonstraat 23 in the Saint Josse neighbourhood and its full summer schedule of activities can be seen below.

For more information about this project and others in the Brussels Staycation Series, visit the official website or check out our previous coverage.