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    Road to Bondsteel

    Road to Bondsteel

    Photo By Sgt. Tinisha Mellein | Youth throughout Kosovo competed in their first-ever “Road to Bondsteel”...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tinisha Mellein 

    KFOR Regional Command East

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Youth throughout Kosovo competed in their first-ever “Road to Bondsteel” basketball tournament April 6, 2019.

    KFOR Joint Regional Detachment South-East Liaison and Monitoring Team (LMT) hosted the tournament as a way to foster relationships and continue to build friendships across ethnic, religious and political barriers.

    “Each team that you see out here today has kids from Kosovo Serbian and Kosovo Albanian communities,” said 1st Lt. Sean Nestor, LMT, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. The whole concept being that we can bring multiethnic communities together and have no issues with the culminating event here on Camp Bondsteel, Nestor added.

    The children named their teams after regions in the U.S. The team names include: Big Apple, Big Sky Country, Motor City and the Heartland. The Big Apple is comprised of youth from Novo Brdo, Fushë Kosova Kosovo Polje. Big Sky Country team is made up of youth from the municipality of Kamenica. The Heartland team is made up of youth from the municipality of Ranilug and Fushë Kosova/ Kosovo Polje and Motor City is comprised of youth from the municipality of Gjilan.

    Teamwork, communication and great sportsmanship was evident amongst all teams playing their hardest to win.

    “We would not have been able to do this without the help and support of the International Office of Migration,” said Nestor. “We specifically received help from Nebojsa Tasevski and Svetlana Djuric who were absolutely instrumental in making this basketball tournament happen. Also the various mayors of municipalities in Kosovo, the kids, and we also had a chunk of our funding come from Spirit of America and Nick Israel that were generous enough to donate to causes like this.”

    Nebojsa Tasevski, a Kosovo resident with the International Office of Migration, said he enjoyed the multi-ethnic basketball tournament and was glad his son was able to participate.

    “The event turned out to be very positive voyage for all of us, both who organized the event and for the kids,” said Tasevski. “The kids have shown that they can play together on teams, and if they can play on teams today…they can work in teams tomorrow.”

    KFOR has various missions including the LMTs that interact members of the Kosovo community to include various mayors of municipalities, Kosovo Police, government officials, residents and youth.

    “As part of this peace support operation I think that the people themselves are the mission,” said Nestor. “Being able to work with institutions, different ethnic groups, and your everyday person in Kosovo is what is going to help the people here build a greater future.”

    This was the first multi-ethnic basketball tournament hosted by KFOR Soldiers with Multinational Battle Group-East. Because of its success, LMTs, coaches, players and community leaders plan on establishing this basketball tournament as an ongoing event with incoming KFOR rotations.

    “The youth are going to be the future leaders of Kosovo and the future leaders of their community,” said Nestor. “If we can bring these kids together for one common purpose or goal of simply playing basketball and they can learn and get the concept or idea of tolerance and coexistence in their head then hopefully it sets a precedence for them to work together.”




    Date Taken: 04.15.2019
    Date Posted: 05.07.2019 03:48
    Story ID: 320411
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

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