A team of shoeless Indian boys from Mexico won a basketball tournament. ABC News reports on Oct. 16 that the team of Trique Indian boys participated in the International Festival of Mini-Basketball. Their coach explains they usually cannot afford sneakers at home, and they are used to playing without shoes.
The Trique Indian boys from Oaxaca have won all of the games they have played at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball. The festival, held in Argentina, crowned the team as champions. A photograph of the young boys playing basketball in red uniforms without shoes has been posted on Twitter. More than 900 children and 60 teams took part in the festival.
The shoeless Indian boys have access to sneakers. However, their coach points out they are used to playing without them and have refused to wear them. The boys were provided with sneakers in Argentina and did not want to wear them.
The basketball program for the Trique Indian children also provides them with free uniforms and a small monthly stipend. It was developed to encourage the children to participate in sports while requiring them to have good grades to qualify for the program.
Mexico's Chamber of Deputies gave the champions a standing ovation. Unfortunately, not everyone viewed the shoeless Indian boys as heroes. Other competitors at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball called them “the barefoot mice from Mexico” and mocked them.