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Fiji's Bula Hoops gives recognition to Lautoka participants

LAUTOKA (Fiji) - The future stars of Fiji basketball have passed yet another test and reached another milestone, completing the Bula Hoops League program organized in Lautoka and against all odds celebrated its participants' long-delayed graduation rites.

After a long wait, almost 40 teen aspirants aging 17 years old and below received their fitting recognition and certificates from the initiative made possible by Basketball Fiji in partnership with the Team Up program of Australia and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) last year amid the pandemic.

Bula Hoops raised its curtains in flying colors last September and ran until December in a successful mission to discover, develop and transition youth stalwarts to the national training team soon.

On top of the organized training camp, Bula Hoops taught sportsmanship and player development, veering away from unnecessary scream and yell-based coaching.

"It was important for us to provide a safe and healthy environment for the kids to learn as well as have fun playing basketball," shared BF West National Basketball Development Officer Laurna Baleiono.

The graduation ceremony was supposed to be held last January but was delayed two months due to unfavorable weather conditions in Fiji but the grand, satisfying atmosphere remained the same.

From the happy teens finally receiving their hard-earned diplomas to the parents thrillingly witnessing a glimpse of their kids' bright future, Bula Hoops was indeed a success.

"It's a successful event with the parents coming in to support their little ones. It's only a half-day program but a happy sight to see for the parents to witness in person their kids receiving their certificates," shared Baleiono.

"The parents' support has been nothing but overwhelming and we cannot thank them enough. We also fully extend our warm appreciation and gratitude for their commitment and dedication in ensuring that their kids learn the sport to the fullest," she added, also crediting the support from all stops FIBA and other local federations.

BF has more in store with the next Hoops For Health relaunched in Lautoka that will be held in schools until September.