The Samoa National Basketball Association spearheaded a successful “Primary Schools Hoops 4 Health” 10-week programme to promote basketball in the country.
More than 500 kids forming up to 80 teams participated in the tournament that was held in the N.U.S. Gymnasium in Apia, Samoa last July 12-13 that aimed to “promote healthy living in the primary schools through basketball”.
The S.N.B.A. collaborated with Samoa’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education in the organization of the program.
“All of the parents we talked to were very happy with the tournament and now most of the children are asking for basketball shoes and jerseys from them,” said National Development Officer, Linda Junita Kelsall.
“It was a really hectic 2-day program for organizers but the smiles and laughter of the kids were worth it for us,” she added.
The 3x3 tournament was the culmination of coaches visiting primary schools around the country to teach basketball skills and educating kids on healthy lifestyle and eating.
FIBA Oceania Competitions Manager Amanda Jenkins is delighted with the recent activities of the SNBA.
“We are very excited with the Hoops 4 Health program; to have 80 teams participating shows the potential and growth of Samoa in basketball. We hope SNBA continue their dedication and we look forward to their upcoming projects,” said Jenkins who visited Samoa to meet with the national federation last month.
The participants also learned to be scorers and table officials in a culminating two-day tournament event that awarded Luatuanuu 1 and Sauniatu 1 as the champion for the girls and boys division respectively.
“After the tournament, a lot of people were already asking us when the next tournament will happen that’s why we hope to organize another one soon and include 10 more Primary schools from the other side of the island,” said Kelsall.
The Hoops for Health program is made possible by the support of FIBA and the Australian Government funding through the Pacific Sports Partnership Program.