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Basketball '+' creating waves of change across Oceania

Copyrights: FIBA

Basketball '+' creating waves of change across Oceania

Active in five nations throughout Oceania and Asia, this programme uses basketball as a community development tool. Each nation has its own key social objectives but the overall goal is to improve people’s lives through basketball.

Since its inception in 2014, Basketball '+' has helped thousands of people across the Pacific and Asia realise their love for the game and the power it has to positively affect their lives.

Basketball '+' in Fiji launched the 'Hoops for Health' (H4H) and 'Mum's a Hero' programmes focusing on the awareness and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCD) plus increasing female participation. In the programmes' 21 months of activity, Basketball Fiji has touched the lives of 24,565 participants. From school children to local mothers, basketball has served as tool for the people of Fiji to improve their lifestyle, health and community.

"Before Hoops for Health I stayed home most of the time and was never interested in outdoors activities," said Fijian Mum's a Hero participant, Miri. "Having a proper diet was never important to me… [after participating in Mum’s A Hero] I now involve myself with outdoors activities in order to keep fit and stay healthy for my family."

The Kiribati Basketball Federation's (KBF) H4H programme teaches school children and the local community about the risks of NCD's and how this can be prevented. Kiribati's coaches have made a difference to all 7,550 participants who have joined them on court and in the classroom to learn and share their passion for basketball.

The KBF also use 3x3 basketball as a way to keep people fit and active. Many people who have never played basketball are discovering a great love for the sport; the KBF has even helped people who lost their love for the game many years ago, find it once again.

One such person is H4H participant Muieraoi who can be found at almost every KBF H4H event.

"At first I only played hoop for fun," said Muieraoi. "Now through the Hoops for Health programme, I am starting on having this mentality as I have to play for my health. I managed to influence my two elder brothers to play the game not only for fun but also if they value their lives or health. I found myself happy as I get to know lots of people or players from other clubs. I haven't missed any basketball functions I get involved more and forget other influences like alcohol as I set my target to be the best basketball player in three years."

Basketball '+' is still very new in Papua New Guinea but the community has embraced the programme wholeheartedly. PNG is a proud nation full of passionate people, many of whom are big basketball fans. This is shown in the 3,131 participants the programme has seen in just its first eight months.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 13:08