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NMI launch Mini Basketball 'Bola' program
SAIPAN (Northern Marianas Island) - Basketball knows no boundaries as the Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation (NMIBF) brings the sport closer to home with the launch of their Mini Basketball Outreach Program in different far-flung communities in Saipan.
The NMIBF said the program, shortly known as “Bola” which means “ball” in Chamorro, is aimed at not only growing the sport but also teaching life lessons among children in the villages.
“The NMIBF and the FIBA Foundation are pleased to announce the formal launching of Bola, as we reach out to our villages to teach our children skills and values on and off the court,” said NMIBF president James Lee.
The program started to be implemented in partnership with FIBA and the Tan Siu Lin Foundation in August as a small summer camp and gained interest from participants asking for a larger edition, paving way for the birth of “Bola”, which the NMIBF is hoping will become a regular part of the Federation's calendar from here on.
This time, Bola will troop to 10 villages across Saipan all the way to the villages in Tinian and Rota.
Bola will cater to children aged 12 years old and below, who will engage in interactive and fun learning on the fundamentals of basketball.
The NMI national team members will roam around the villages for seven different stops until December.
Bola’s first leg will be at Koblerville Basketball Court on Nov. 6 that is open to Koblerville and San Antonio residents before another session on Nov. 7 (Garapan Basketball Court), Nov. 13 (Civic Center Basketball Court for Susupe residents), and Nov. 14 (Kagman Community Center).
NMIBF then visits the Chinatown Court on Nov. 20 before wrapping it up at the Dandan Basketball Court for Dandan and San Vicente residents on Dec. 4 and at the Matuis Basketball Court for Tanapag and San Roque residents on Dec. 5.
Soon, the Federation will also travel to other villages until it reaches all the islands.
With the event already on the horizon, the NMIBF is calling for support both from the public and private sectors including parents and community leaders in a bid to make Bola a successful venture and with a goal of turning it over to the respective villages for their own supervision.
“Eventually, this program will be owned by each village, they will form their own teams in different age groups and compete with other villages, thus reviving the once-popular inter-village basketball league where the household names in CNMI basketball came,” Lee added.
The Bola program is free for all participants. Coaches are also invited to join as Bola will also cater to coaches' education.