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Hoops For Health program a hit in Holy Trinity and Viuto Primary School
SUVA (Fiji) - Basketball Fiji (BF) held a simultaneous Hoops For Health Program that introduced 3x3 basketball to Primary School students at the Holy Trinity School and Veiuto Primary School in Suva to promote the game at the grassroots level.
Over 100 students joined the session at Holy Trinity and were presided by BF's volunteer coaches and Holy Trinity School Physical Education teacher Babu Khan.
"The kids are very happy, every time Basketball Fiji comes to run their clinics here. They bring the basketballs, the rims and create the courts in these fields. They provide everything for the kids," shared Khan, a PE teacher at Holy Trinity since 1980.
"We usually have tennis or cricket played in this area but as you can see with the kids they are more than happy playing basketball," he added.
Despite a drizzle of rain, the primary students pushed for the clinic to continue and it, fortunately, subsided to the delight of the participants.
The Hoops For Health program introduced 3x3 to the school while also accompanied by the awareness of proper hydration and fitness to the primary students.
"We started at 8:30 in the morning and finished at 10:00 am we made sure that every kid had the chance to play and orchestrated games on the side so that they don't get bored," said BF Chief Operating Officer Laisiasa Puamau.
"We also continuously told them about the importance of hydration and the importance of playing sports. Basketball is a community sport that encourages social gatherings and it's the best way to stay fit and have fun," he added.
The Whippy family has produced a lot of national team players for Fiji - Khan shared that most of them studied in Holy Trinity and hoped that through BF's clinics they discover future national team members for Fiji.
"I am proud to share that most of the Whippy siblings studied here in Holy Trinity, we have the talent it just needs to be discovered so we're happy that BF continues to visit us and run their clinics," Khan proudly stated.
Meanwhile, at the Veiuto Primary School, Fiji U15 Coach William Peter and Women's National Team Member Tiyana Kainamoli were simultaneously running a similar 3x3 clinic.
"It's always good to give back and I am happy helping out Basketball Fiji's development programs. The smiles of the kids always make the effort more than worth it," shared Kainamoli.
At least 50 students participated in the clinic and Peter who coached the FIBA U15 Oceania Fiji team in Papua New Guinea last year continues his commitment to the programs.
"The kids have been very responsive to 3x3 and we are happy to introduce this sport to the youth because they are learning quickly and they continue to ask questions about the game," shared Peter.
BF Chief Operating Officer Laisiasa Puamau shared the strategic placement of the clinics to help continue growing the sport.
"We have a lot of cars passing by on the streets of both schools, so it's good exposure for basketball because a lot of these fields and courts it's always rugby that kids are playing," he shared.
"We want to promote the game the right way by teaching from the grassroots level while also exposing the smiles of these kids to the public," he added.
The Hoops For Health program is initiated by Basketball Fiji under the support of the Australia Aid initiative in cooperation with FIBA.