Over two days members and coaches of the UBC Okanagan men's and women's basketball team donated their time at Ellison Elementary School, hosting 'toonie' clinics to raise funds for water devices for a child sanctuary in Africa. (Picture submitted by Ellison).

KELOWNA, BC – With the season closing on the Heat men’s and women’s basketball teams just over a week prior some of the players and coaches from the two UBC Okanagan varsity programs found time to supply the talent for a fundraiser for a great cause at Ellison Elementary.

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This is the third straight year the principle at Ellison, Scott Seiben, has invited in the UBCO basketball programs to pitch in with events at the school.

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The Heat were part of a fundraising initiative at Ellison to purchase 4-5 water hippo rollers for a small child sanctuary in Namibia. A ‘toonie’ basketball clinic with the UBCO players serving as instructors was held over two days (Tue. Feb. 14 and Thu. Feb. 16) to help the elementary school raise the money for the  devices needed.

The Hippo water roller, or Hippo roller, is a device for carrying water more easily and efficiently than traditional methods, particularly in the developing world. It consists of a barrel-shaped container which holds the water and can roll along the ground, and a handle attached to the axis of the barrel.

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The steel handle allows the roller to be pushed or pulled over difficult and very rough terrain and can transport five times the amount of water with far less effort than the traditional method of carrying 20 liters (approximately 5 gallons) on the head.

The Heat are happy to report that the fundraising efforts at Ellison elementary proved to be a success and they will be able to help purchase about 6 Hippo Rollers, a great achievement for a little school (180 students, plus staff) to achieve.

The following community-based initiative is just a small part of what UBC Okanagan student athletes do in the community. If you have ideas about how the Heat could make a difference with your group or event please get in touch with the athletic department.