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Basketball Fiji bringing the sport to all
SUVA - The recent performance of the Fiji national teams and the success of the Hoops for Health program has seen a rapid growth of popularity of basketball in Fiji.
So many kids in Fiji are falling in love with basketball and looking to play as much as they can. Unfortunately, they do not always have a place to play.
Courts and backboards are very limited in Fiji, and often children have to travel to heavily populated areas to find a court. Basketball Fiji (BF) is looking to change this.
BF wants to see more kids with basketballs in their hands, shoes on their feet and smiles on their faces. They want to make the game more accessible to all. To do this, BF has been donating equipment purchased through the Hoops for Health program to schools around Fiji.
The students of Stella Marist Primary School were given a great surprise on March 10th when BF donated basketballs so they could play anytime they liked.
On April 25th BF was at it again, donating equipment to Gospel Primary School in Suva.
Head Teacher Mr Daveta accepting the Gospel Primary School donation from Basketball Fiji
"When our Hoops for Health coaches go into the schools, they no longer have to bring equipment with them and they are greeted by the sight of kids already actively playing basketball," commented BF Administrator and Hoops for Health Coach, Leah Seru. "Then when [the coaches] leave, the kids keep practicing their new skills and no longer have to wait for us to return. It's a great feeling."
The Hoops for Health program is funded by the Australian government as part of the Pacific Sports Partnerships program.
BF's most recent donation was a shipment of shoes sent to Fiji by the Fordham University Women's Basketball team in New York, USA. Current captain of the Fiji national women's team and Fordham Women's Assistant Coach Valerie Nainima was more than happy to help BF's donation efforts.
"One of our senior women's players, Dij, had recently visited Fiji. During her trip, she noticed that a number of kids did not have shoes but still remained jubilant and unbothered."
"Dij wanted to help these kids by collecting shoes and shipping them back to Fiji. I'm grateful that I was able to help this happen."
BF sent the shoes to the Western Division of Viti Levu and the Lautoka Basketball Community. The Lautoka Basketball Association received the shoes on Monday the 9th of May.
Basketball Fiji donating shoes to the Lautoka Basketball Association
Not only has BF being donating shoes and balls; they have been working to get more backboards and rims available for local children to play.
BF has recently been able to install new rims and backboards in Nadi and Nasinu. The Nasinu backboard is reversible to allow both basketball and netball to be played on the Valelevu multipurpose courts. BF now has their sites on mounting another rim and backboard in Raiwaqa.
Basketball Fiji is committed to promoting the game of basketball in Fiji while using it as a development tool to help better peoples lives.