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Grassroots development continues in Tehran with Ball'In Schools program

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - FIBA Regional Office Asia's Ball'In Schools program continued expanding its impact throughout the continent with a 4-day program in Tehran from 25-28 November.

Ball'In Schools is a grassroots basketball development project that aims to help plant the seeds of love for the game of basketball at a young age, especially in schools. In previous years, Ball'In Schools programs were held in Bhutan, Laos, and Oman, which were well-received in each respective country. Earlier this year, Ball'In Schools was also organized in Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Palestine, LebanonQatar, Mongolia and Jordan

The program addresses the current and common challenges that slow down the development of basketball, such as the insufficient presence of the sport in schools; the absence of age groups competitions and tournaments, or the low quality of basketball infrastructure and limited accessibility. Ball'In Schools does so by empowering local ambassadors with a program to push for basketball in schools. These programs are trained by experts selected by the FIBA Regional Office Asia, where the ambassadors use what they've learned and take the initiative further to introduce or raise awareness.

Javad Davari, Basketball Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (IRIBF) president, said: "I would like to appreciate the Regional Office in Asia for giving us with the opportunity to be part of Ball'In School in Iran. We seriously pursue the objectives of this program and hope it will inspire our local clubs and all relevant stakeholders nation-wide to emphasize more on the youth and grassroots development."

Ramin Rezaei was among the coaches that participated in the program.

"The program will help us promote, develop the game and identify talents," said Rezaei.

"The program showed us how to attract the youth to fall in love with the game of basketball and not focused only on their individual skills. The coaches were taught to not focus only on teaching how to win but how to get the players excited to play basketball. They were also showed how to make sessions innovative and entertaining so that the kids kept asking for more."

The idea behind Ball'In Schools is the empowerment of local ambassadors to have a self-sustainable grassroots development program. Having more players and increasing the demand for basketball on its own should be the driver of the program to lead to long-term growth of basketball.