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Bidesi believes in positive impact of Hoops For Health in students

This article is part of Stories of Change, a series of articles interviewing volunteer coaches and participants involved with Basketball For Good Programs in the Pacific.

Suva (Fiji) - Basketball Fiji's Hoops For Health program has attracted a multitude of volunteer coaches and participants over the years, one of them is Rosy Bidesi, a teacher at the Latter Day Saints Primary School in Suva, Fiji.

Basketball Fiji partnered with the LDS Primary School to run their Hoops For Health program which focuses on teaching the basics of basketball and includes a component of health messaging. Bidesi, a Class 4 teacher witnessed the excitement of her students during the session.

"I am a teacher and HOD for the upper classes at LDS Primary School and the class 4’s were the ones taking the basketball clinics with the coaches. I normally supervise during these basketball sessions and have seen the joy and happiness of the students during their time with the coaches" she shared.

The 39-year old teacher shared the positive impact of the program and the effect of the health messaging on her students.

"I have seen the great messages behind the basketball drills that the coaches teach, especially the tips they give on healthy living and how our kids can be more engaged in the classroom if they are eating the right foods and having enough rest," she said.

"I have kids who are in class 5 this year but they still remind me to keep healthy and exercise regularly so I won’t catch NCD’s and this is what they learned when they were a part of the basketball session last year," she added.

Photo: Rosy Bidesi or more only called by her students "Sisi"

Despite her lack of experience with the sport, Bidesi has been converted to a basketball supporter because of the program's effect on her students.

"As a teacher, I believe in the positive impact basketball have on students and if their bodies are in the right healthy state their academic results will improve," she said.

"I am always asking the coaches on when there will be a primary school competition for basketball as I believe our kids here at LDS Primary school will do great. I and my children love the sport of basketball even though we haven’t played it before," she added.

Basketball Fiji's National Basketball Development Officer Kenneth Taliu shared that despite the overwhelming popularity of rugby in the country, each Hoops For Health session has yielded positive reception with the students they teach.

"Basketball is not the most popular sport in the country but with the help of teachers like Rosy and schools like the LDS, we are gaining momentum. Basketball is fun and we believe it's a good tool to use to help spread social awareness especially health," he said.

Bidesi explained the significance and critical part of sports as a positive development to students in terms of their health and well being.

"This story shows that sport can be used as an influence for good, especially in our lifestyles. The healthier we are the more chances of performing well in the classroom," she shared.

The Basketball For Good (B4G) strategy uses sports as a social awareness program. B4G is a program is supported by the Australian Aid and FIBA's Foundation, the International Basketball Foundation.