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"I jumped into the pool. I talked to the professor, explained what I had come up with, and we got it going."

Esther Erdozain, has created a complex database for the project Tantaka Basketball Workshop.

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27/05/16 12:39 Inés Escauriaza

Cheerful, dynamic, restless and sporty. These four words fit like a glove with Esther Erdozain Laseca, a native of Pamplona (Navarra) who upon arriving at the University has managed to cross her two passions, sports and the profession of Assistant, for which she is preparing herself by studying the degree program of attendance of Management at ISSA University of Navarra.

She attended a workshop Open Doors of the University when she was studying 2nd year of high school program at IES Basoko and moved by her desire to do something for others she approached the stand of Tantakathe Solidarity Time Bank of the University of Navarra. There, they told her about the projects they were carrying out and it was clear to her that she wanted to get involved in one of them when she got to the University. "Ihad always felt the need to do something for others and I saw that my time had come," she says. Shortly after enrolling, she began coaching basketball at the Tantaka Basketball Workshop, at partnership with the Core Foundation. The project , which was created by Teresa Gutiérrez, a nursing student, has grown a lot in the three and a half years of its existence and recently received the award of the first edition of the Chair María Egea.

In this second course, Esther has been getting more and more involved in the project, especially when she saw that she could contribute, in addition to her basketball knowledge, what she was learning during the degree program. " Last quarter when we started Access in subject for Computer Science II, I immediately realized that we needed to provide project with a good database and that with what I was learning at ISSA I could do it". I had barely known about Access when, says Esther, "I jumped into the pool. I talked to the professor, explained what I had come up with and we put it into action". Putting what she was learning on internship at class also helped her to consolidate her knowledge and master subject in a short time.

What most attracts Esther from project is to see that through basketball, values such as friendship, companionship, respect, work as a team are instilled among the kids... and not only that, they have had several experiences in which thanks to project some kids have become excited about what they do, to improve their academic transcript and even to consider going to university. Something they previously saw as unattainable.

For Esther: "Every training session is unique and special. As soon as you arrive, the children greet you with a smile, greet you and hug you. It is a relationship that is built little by little, there are always some who are more affectionate than others, but each and every one of them are my kids. I feel joy, hope and illusion".

"Through Tantaka we have the means to help the kids, crossing different projects. For example, one boy this year began to gain self-confidence through the basketball workshop and when we investigated we saw that he needed school support, so he began to attend to support classes and in no time he managed to approve all subjects with good grades. As many kids have economic problems, we offer them the possibility of enrolling in a free referee or table course so that they can earn some money to help them get ahead. We have also met kids with depression who, thanks to basketball, find an escape route and manage to overcome it".

Currently, children and young people from 5 to 17 years of age participate in the workshop, who come on Saturday mornings with their families. "It is very gratifying to see how just by your example you can influence the hopes and the future of others."

Esther is also a photographic volunteer, so in the activities they organize with the project she is the one who covers the events photographically. Last year they organized a basketball championship in Olite, where in addition to playing basketball, they visited the castle and had lunch together. The idea is to organize at least one outing every year. "The volunteer activities gives you a lot. Itis not money, clothes or anything material; it is something much more valuable, it is joy, affection, hope, illusion, love... and the most beautiful thing is that you receive it without asking for it and it is real".