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IBF Journals: Gaby Bray of Papua New Guinea

The IBF Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS) in Singapore on May 24-26 witnessed a successful gathering of 17 Youth Leaders from 17 different countries. The workshop’s aim was to give the young leaders the tools to run 3x3 Tournaments linked to a social component as well as develop their leadership skills.

Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) - Gabrielle Bray represented Papua New Guinea in the second edition of the IBF Youth Leadership Seminar in Singapore.

The 18-year old Bray was the youngest participant in the seminar but despite her stature in terms of age, she is one of the most experienced basketball leaders in the workshop.

"I started volunteering for our Federation (Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea) in 2017. My family has been part of the basketball circles in Port Moresby with some of my uncles and aunties playing in the national team," she shared.

The young Papua New Guinean admitted that she was nervous and wary during the seminar but declared that she is ready to apply the things she learned and organize her 3x3 U18 Mixed Tournament back home.

Photo: Bray and the other youth leaders running a 3x3 tournament in the Australian International School

"It was an eye-opening experience for me and it's my first time in Singapore in this kind of seminar for basketball. I was a bit shy sharing my thoughts, but I already have an idea on how I run the tournament back home," Bray said.

"I was one of the volunteer's in Anderson's (2018 Youth Leader) 3x3 tournament last year and I think we can improve on some of the things we did from last year," she added.

Bray was also a volunteer for FIBA events hosted by Papua New Guinea including the 2017 FIBA Melanesia Cup and the 2018 FIBA U15 Oceania Championship.

"Basketball has always been a family thing and my older sister and younger brother now play in the national and youth teams of PNG. Although I am not playing at that level I am happy to be involved with the game," she said.

Aside from competitions; Bray also actively helps out in the Federation's Basketball For Good programs.

"Basketball means a lot to us back home it may not be the most popular game "yet”, but it is a source of joy and happiness for our people especially the young kids," Bray said. "I love volunteering for our programs because it helps a lot of people and the fulfillment it gives makes me happy."

BFPNG has been running a myriad of successful Basketball For Good events in the last couple of years with their Pikinini Hoops, Hoops For Health, Mum's A Hero and Twilight Basketball programs.

Photo: Bray presenting her 3x3 tournament plans to the other youth leaders

Bray vowed her commitment to basketball and her desire to help grow the game in her country; with her experience as a volunteer and the IBF Youth Leadership workshop under her belt, she is bound to take the next step.

"I see myself continuing to volunteer and help our Federation for a long time. The way basketball can positively change our culture and as we like to believe in our country - save lives. There might not be a better cause to believe in and I am 100 percent committed to it," Bray proudly shared.

The budding young leader has one foot inside the basketball world and with the help of IBF, BFPNG and her family; she is about to immerse herself beyond her volunteer duties and could possibly become a future leader of Papua New Guinea basketball.

The Hoops For Health program is an Australian aid initiative implemented by Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian Government.