The Bethany Christian School girls’ basketball team in Goshen, Indiana, is taking sportsmanship to a new level this season through a partnership with a school in Cambodia.
Bethany Christian’s assistant basketball coach Jon Wingard visited Iset, an English language school in Stung Treng, Cambodia on a mission trip four years ago and was moved by the work being done. This year, he proposed an idea for the team: for every basketball win, the team would donate a $300 scholarship in a player’s name to Iset.
Coach Wingard pitched the idea to Head Coach Krysten Parson, who embraced it.
“(Wingard) approached me and said, ‘Hey, this would be a cool thing, what do you think? I don’t want to draw a ton of attention to us, but I think it’d be a cool opportunity for our girls to support women in other countries,’” Parson told the local South Bend Tribune. “We talked to the girls, and they thought it was a great idea.”
The funds will be used by the Cambodian school to provide supplies, bicycles, and other needs of their students.
The Bethany Christian team’s efforts have paid off. With a winning record under their belts, the team has raised more than $3,300 so far, and local donors have added donations for each basketball win.
“To know our wins are benefiting other people for a bigger cause – winning a basketball game isn’t as big as getting an education,” senior Mariah Stoltzfus told the Tribune.
“If we’re able to provide a scholarship for someone to do that, that’s huge. … We know a lot of us are privileged, so we want to help people who are not as privileged in any way we can.”