Basketball Fiji Winston Appeal Donation
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Basketball Fiji’s Winston Appeal Tournament raises $10,300

SUVA - Fiji has been through some tough times with the recent tropical cyclone Winston.

After having to cancel their Annual National Easter Club Championship, Basketball Fiji (BF) decided to use this as an opportunity to help the country's rebuilding effort.

BF organised a Winston Appeal Basketball Tournament to help raise funds in support of the Fiji Government's restoration initiative. Tropical cyclone Winston was second only to super typhoon Haiyan as the strongest cyclone to hit land anywhere on Earth in recorded history.

BF Chief Operating Officer Laisiasa Puamau addressed how important it is to support this endeavor.

"Although the basketball community was not affected directly by the havoc caused by cyclone Winston, the basketball community recognised that many Fijian lives that were affected," he said. "As initiated by BF President, we made the decision to cancel our Annual National Easter Club Championship for both men's and women's. We decided to replace the event with the Winston Appeal initiative."

The fundraising effort is a demonstration of Basketball Fiji's slogan - 'It's more than just Basketball' - in action.

BF is very active in the community, not only through the Winston Appeal Basketball Tournament but also their Hoops for Health (H4H) program. Funded by the Australian Government, BF implement H4H with their 'Mum's A Hero' and Schools programs. Both initiatives use basketball to influence positive social changes and improve the quality of life for people in Fiji.

The Winston Appeal Tournament was a major success. Basketball Fiji was able to raise more than $5,000 and with FIBA matching dollar for dollar, BF and their partners raised more than $10,000 for the Winston Appeal.

On Monday the 18th of April, the BF Treasurer Maj. (Rtd.) Ben Sikuri visited the Honourable Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama on behalf of the basketball federation to present the final donation of $10,300.

This is a testament not only to Basketball Fiji, but to the resilience of all Fijians.