Winners all-round at Oyiti Cup

Oyiti Foundation's Rotor Ogwop and Nyibil Amum with some of the trophies. 399851_06

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Everyone was a winner at the second annual Oyiti Foundation Cup held in Dandenong on April 12-13.

That’s how Oyiti Foundation for Multicultural Youth head Nyibil Amum described the buzz of 200 players vying for trophies at the Hoops 24-7 centre.

The aim was to promote young people’s mental health. To bring young people together and urge them to help one another.

Mental health professionals, Victoria Police and youth workers were also on hand to connect at the event.

Amum described the second staging of the event as “spectacular” – which had swelled to 25 teams from as far as NSW and masses of volunteers.

Amum said he had to limit the number of teams due to the small venue. It was hoped to stage the tournament in the bigger Dandenong Stadium next year.

“The message is whoever comes is a winner. Rather than spending that time at home, they were spending time with other young people, keeping fully engaged with organisations.

“We’re looking forward to keeping the conversations going.”

In attendance was the Sunshine-based Longhorns Basketball Club. Club president Manyang Berberi said the players had a great time at the school holiday event.

“The tournament was a beautiful community event focussed on youth engagement,” he said.

“Longhorns has been a great club in the western suburbs and the players had a great time. We even had our under-16s and under-18s teams make it to the grand final as runners up.”

Amum set up the Oyiti Foundation and the tournament in memory of his late son Oyiti, a talented young leader who played college basketball in the US and took his life three years ago.

Now with state government support, the foundation runs a weekly homework club, basketball training and monthly mental health awareness sessions for more than 20 youths.

This year, it has launched facilitator training for sports coaches and leaders of women’s groups and faith groups.

The initial intake of nine has trained with mental health professionals in order to help young people in their midst.

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