The system of Ghetto Games was invented in the Latvian capital Riga, where the 2017 CSIT World Sports Games took place from June 13 to June 18. Anu organized a Young Leaders Meeting in a Bar in the Riga district of Grinzinkalns. “This part of the city was a ghetto with drugs, alcohol and crime until 2003”, explained the initiator Sanda Buna from the town Liepaja – and she describes herself as a former ghetto kid. “Since then a lot of improvements have been done, but the idea of Ghetto Games was a very efficient tool to succeed.”
A slummy place in Grinzinkalns has turned into a flourishing area for young people who can do all kinds of modern sports: basketball, skateboard, stunt-riding, arm-wrestling, dancing, rugby, pancration etc. “This is a very hot topic for my young leaders’ team”, Anu Rajajärvi said. The CSIT group, which also did some warm-up and sports with kids from Riga after the presentation, was a colourful mix from different countries as Finland, Austria, Estonia and Italy. “I really hope, these young people will help us to carry the idea to the world”, Sanda Bruna said.
Talking about help: Raimonds Elbakjans is one of the most powerful promotors of Ghetto Games. He is a former player of the Latvian national basketball team. Basketball tournaments and dunking contests are among the most popular events happening on the Ghetto Games ground.