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Balekiwai making the most out of his opportunities

SUVA (Fiji) - With Basketball Fiji's (BF) innovation and adaptability during the pandemic, they were able to still produce results in their goal of developing basketball in the country.

With imposed lockdowns by the government intermittently during these challenging times, BF had to restructure their Bula Hoops program to an online format last year and one of the beneficiaries is an aspiring coach, Adriu Balekiwai.

Balekiwai, a 24-year old coach in Suva was able to participate as a coach in the online Bula Hoops version of the program. He became primarily a demo coach.

"I was informed about the online program by Coach Laisiasa Puamau as I was one of the coaches involved with the Hoops for Health and Bula Hoops program before the Covid-19 restrictions," he shared.

"It was a great experience because we were still able to teach kids even through Facebook," he added.


The Fijian native did not stop there and attended FIBA coaching webinars to hone his skills as a coach.

"I am confident to say that my skill level as a coach and overall understanding of the game was not that broad, but as the sessions for the Bula Hoops online progressed and being involved in the FIBA webinars my understanding of the game from a coach’s perspective has reached a new level," Balekiwai said.

A former high school varsity player, Balekiwai, commended the initiative of BF during the trials provided by COVID-19 and expressed his gratefulness for the opportunities he had as a coach.

"Being able to do these things during this current situation we are in with COVID 19, I am still able to be involved in the development of the sport. This is a game I am passionate about, and to broaden my knowledge as such makes me happy," he shared.

Balekiwai's goal is to coach youth teams and he promised to take all the opportunities to learn that he can get to achieve it.

"I am aspiring to be a certified youth coach through the FIBA webinars and with the added experience I am gaining with the Bula Hoops online program I look forward to coaching and sharing what I’ve learned to the youth when things normalize." he ended.