Basketball changes lives

Watch this space: A young Flaxmere woman with an eye for telling stories through video has had a phenomenal reaction to her work – and that’s just for the promo clip.


Roshan Uelese’s 8-minute short documentary is due out at the end of this month; the first of a four-part series she is doing on “basketball changing lives”.


That first episode, called Living the Game, features Flaxmere 14-year-old Rongo Maaka Morrell, who says there is no doubt basketball is stopping him from making decisions that could have negatively affected his whole life – in particular joining a gang. “Basketball keeps me off the streets . . . Basketball is serious for me now.”


Roshan says she has seen first-hand just how big an impact basketball can have on young people’s lives, and she wants to get some of those stories out there.


It’s not an accident that it is basketball. Roshan, now 21, represented her school and Hawke’s Bay on the court, and now plays socially.


It is also not an accident that she is telling those stories through video. Always into creative subjects at school, she had a hi-tech camera she had used for photography at Hastings Girls’ High School. “I’ve been doing weddings for people; no audio track, just video with a soundtrack behind them.


“I wanted to do more with it, something that makes a difference. I wanted to show people that it doesn’t matter where you come from; you can still do great things.”


She had seen Rongo play. She could see he had talent, and knew he had come from a difficult background. “I’d also seen others who had more chances because of basketball and came up with the idea of showing how the sport fits into their lives; how it can change their lives.”


The series is called Beyond the Court; named because Roshan says she wants to tell the stories behind the game; how it affects their lives.


If the trailer for her first doco, under start-up video company Roshy the Great, is anything to go by, it’s going to be very popular.


A fortnight on from posting her promo clip, it has had more than 10,000 views, been shared 148 times, and got great comments for both Rongo and Roshan. And they have not just been from people who know them. Roshan has been more than a bit surprised to get feedback from across the country, from people she doesn’t know.



Now that she has put it out there, the next job is getting the full mini-doco completed. To keep an eye out for it, watch her Facebook page: Roshan Eshwave Uelese

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