Basketball Fiji Soaring High
SUVA (Fiji) - With a record-breaking year behind them, Basketball Fiji is poised for further growth and a stellar 2024. Boasting an impressive 19,808 participants across programs and competitions in 2023, a stunning 43 per cent of whom were women, the federation is now striving to reach new heights.
Aligning with the global FIBA Strategy, Empowering National Federations, Basketball Fiji are now one of the leaders in the Oceania region, and their accolades speak for themselves.
A gleaming gold medal for the men and a bronze for the women in the 5x5 competition at the 2023 Pacific Games, followed by silver medals in both categories for the 3x3, is a testament to Fiji's rising basketball prowess.
Executive Officer Laisiasa Puamau is optimistic. "This momentum," he says, "is the perfect opportunity to inspire our communities to embrace the game." He emphasises the crucial role of Basketball for Good programs in paving the way for development and inclusivity.
Sustaining high participation numbers and creating clear pathways for players to stay engaged, both on and off the court, are key priorities. Building on the national team's success, Basketball Fiji aims to leverage this inspiration to ignite a nationwide passion for basketball.
Partnerships play a crucial role in this growth. Team Up, FIBA, and PacificAus Sports have been instrumental in development efforts, and Vodafone Fiji's recent addition strengthens the support network. Puamau is confident that, "with these valuable partnerships, we can truly elevate basketball in Fiji."
But it's women's basketball that truly takes centre stage in 2024. With Sera Coleta leading the charge, programs like Her World Her Rules and Mum's a Hero will roll out across the country, aiming to bridge the gap and achieve a 50/50 gender split in participation.
"Engagement through inclusive programs and training opportunities is paramount," states Puamau. "Ensuring equal access for women to participate and contribute is fundamental to the sustainable growth of basketball in Fiji."