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Bula Hoops program brings families closer together

SUVA (Fiji) - Basketball Fiji's Hoops For Health program's goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for the youth to learn basketball, but the program transcends that notion and even offers the chance for families to bond and strengthen their ties.

Melvin Young Lee enrolled his son Ilai, in Basketball Fiji's Bula Hoops program in 2017 and continued to let his son take part in the program in the last four years consistently.

"My son, Ilai (13 years old) followed my interest in basketball since he was 6 years old. Apart from teaching him the basics of basketball from a young age at home, I was also looking for development programs in Fiji to enroll him in," shared the older Lee.

"I was introduced to the Bula Hoops program in 2017 in which Ilai has been taking part to date. I have been supporting Ilai and the program by ensuring he attends training and taking part in all Bula Hoops initiatives," he added.

Melvin commended the program on how it helped improve his son's skills in the game he is passionate about, and how it has helped his son improve his communication skills in the modern and technology-driven age.

"The most significant change is the satisfaction of being able to see and support my child develop his skills throughout the years in a sport that I truly loved and played with passion," he said.

"In this age of technology and social media distractions, many kids don’t get to experience the enjoyment, camaraderie, and character-building that sports help develop," he added.

The 46-year old father also explained that through basketball they have improved their relationships and he hopes to continue and use the sport as a bridge for them to connect.

"Through sports, mainly basketball Ilai and I can closely connect and we have opened up positive channels of communication which has ultimately has improved our relationship," Lee said.

Lee reiterated the importance of spending time with your children as a parent and hope that their story can inspire more people to improve their parent-children relationship.

"I would like people to know that I am an ordinary everyday parent with everyday challenges but we all need to find some balance and spend some time with your kids and support their interests,"

"For parents whose child may have an interest which is foreign to them I recommend that you learn about it, understand it, and show your support (not only financially). It will make a world of a difference," he ended.

Basketball Fiji's Hoops For Health program under their Basketball For Good strategy is supported by the Australian Government through the Team Up program.