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Letter to EEB3 School Management from Parents of the players of the BC Ecole Européenne Ixelles

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To the attention of Ms Sciberras, Director of European School III (Ixelles)


cc : BC Ecole Européenne Ixelles

Dear Ms Sciberras,

We, the parents of the enrolled players of the BC Ecole Européenne Ixelles, have been informed by our Club’s Board that the trainings and competition games are suspended “until further notice”.

We are deeply disappointed by this development, which appears to be the result of several operational decisions taken from the EEB3 School Management. Actions, that have a great impact on our Club’s operations and, especially, on our children’s wellbeing.

As you may well know, our Club, founded in 1990, consists of +/-280 players, making it one of the biggest Basketball Clubs of the Brussels League. Indeed, our Club is registered and has a “Licence” from the Basketball Federation. This means that it is a registered club that participates in the official leagues. This also means it has to follow some rules – failing to do so can lead to penalties, which can range from simple warnings and fines, up to the exclusion of our Club from the league(s) and Federation.

Moreover, while around 90% of the players are students of the EEB3, registration is open to all children that want to join the Club. Daily, pupils of the EEB3 are being trained on School premises together with kids from outside the school, enjoying the benefits that a team sport like basketball can bring to them in a multicultural environment that the European Schools offer to the children but also to parents.

In addition to their weekly trainings, the children compete against other teams in Belgium, in the official tournaments / championships organised by the Basketball Federation. The children get to welcome adversaries at home and travel to their premises in other parts of Belgium for their away games, bringing the European School spirit and culture to other clubs, while welcoming them with the same European Culture at home.

It is no secret that the recent pandemic has not helped our Club’s operations. The volunteers in charge of the club have tried to do everything possible to continue the Club’s activities. They have always moved “heaven and earth” in their numerous attempts to find solutions in order to comply with the restrictions imposed by the Belgian and local authorities as well as those of the School management.

Each time, however, one hurdle was overcome, more unsurmountable obstacles seemed to appear. It is with deep regret that we communicate to you that in our opinion, the School management of the EEB3 seems to have not given adequate consideration to the specificities of our Basketball Club and has maybe underestimated the importance of the Club in supporting students’ physical and mental health, their wellbeing, their overall happiness and pride when they practice, they compete, they wear the colors of their Club, the BC Ecole Européenne Ixelles.

We strongly regret, therefore, that the School management of EEB3 has apparently taken decisions that impacted severely on the very ability of the Club to carry out its core activity, leading even to the cancellation of trainings and official games, and penalizing in this way, not only the Club, but most importantly the children. The children that have embraced this Club and have made it one of the biggest in Brussels. The children that “cannot wait” to go to training with their friends and coaches and compete during the weekend. From the 8-year-olds that learn to play in mixed boys/girls teams up to the oldest kids, our Club is contributing to the European way of life, one of the current European Commission’s top priorities, through sport.

We are going through very difficult times, and many children struggle with mental health issues and (lack of) healthy social contact due to the restrictions imposed on all of us. There’s no doubt that Sport is a necessary anchor for all kids now even more than ever. The Belgian Government has not stopped sport activities. A teamsport further provides adolescents with the perfect framework to grow and develop values such as solidarity, unity in diversity, resilience, fairness and sportsmanship that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

We therefore turn to you, certain that you can understand the importance of resuming regular training and competitions immediately. Our emergency right now is that the Club can have access to at least one court so that it doesn’t get penalised. All other pending matters can be re-evaluated and discussed between relevant parties in the coming days/weeks. We strongly believe that with better communication, acceptable to all solutions can be identified. Right now, however, we urge you to explore all possible solutions to allow the Club to use at least one of the three courts for the official matches. We are counting on your understanding and “extra mile” support to help our Club avoid unnecessary penalties.

We hope that this letter will be met with your full attention: it is vital at this moment to find a solution in order to guarantee the survival of the basketball club and the children’s wellbeing.

Yours sincerely,

The Parents of the enrolled players of the BC Ecole Européenne Ixelles

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