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FIBA Regional Office Asia launch SustainaBALL program

AMMAN (Jordan) - The ongoing FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2023 is not all about the region's best youth teams vying for basketball supremacy.

The event also marks the launch of FIBA Regional Office Asia's SustainaBALL program, which aims to educate athletes and raise awareness towards crucial sustainability issues through various practices aiming to help mitigate climate change by having youth athletes at the center of this initiative.

"There is no better way for us to launch SustainaBALL than having young athletes at the center of this initiative," Mr. Hagop Khajirian, FIBA Executive Director - Asia, said.

"The whole FIBA Regional Office-Asia couldn't be any prouder to witness our latest project take its first steps. Just like the Ball’In Schools, Sports Performance Specialist (SPS), and Golden Jersey programs, we believe that SustainaBALL will be as successful as those moving forward," he added.

Among the program's initiatives was the tree-planting program held Thursday, 13 July, attended by Jordan Basketball Federation (JBF) Secretary General Nabil Abou Ata.

Representatives from all teams planted more than 70 cypress trees, a species naturally occurring in warm climates and is very common in Jordan, in the surrounding area of Prince Hamzah Sport Hall.

Team managers and players from all teams were introduced to SustainaBALL in a quick discussion, where the necessity and benefits of pursuing sustainable goals were also touched upon.

Players also received gift bags made of recycled material, containing a reusable bottle and a USB stick for valuable information on sustainability, energy tips and a thorough description on the SustainaBALL program.

Even the tournament itself is practicing sustainable efforts.

Lanyards used for IDs, for one, were made out of recycled PET. The FIBA staff is walking to the venue every day, since it is just 600 meters away from the hotel.

Meanwhile, recycled materials made from seagrass leaves residue - washed up annually in abundance across Mediterranean coastal areas - combined with certified bio-based thermosetting resins are used to make the Most Valuable Player and All Star 5 awards to be award by the end of the tilt.

The event is also going as paperless as it can be, where coaching staffs of teams, for instance, are using tablets for all in-game statistics instead of printing stat sheets. The in-game Public Announcer has also been using a tablet instead of a printed list for announcing team delegation rosters.

Electronic tickets, meanwhile, were used for fans.

The SustainaBALL initiative aims not only to reduce the environmental impact of basketball events in the region, but to also educate fans and everyone else involved about the necessity and the benefits of pursuing sustainable goals.