New programme to develop 'women ballers'
More than 100 athletes have taken part in the Samoa National Basketball Association’s (S.N.B.A.) new 'Women Ballers' programme dedicated to boosting women's participation in the sport at the grassroots level.
The programme debuted in December 2020.
A spokesperson for the S.N.B.A. told the Samoa Observer that it will be an annual event that aims to celebrate Samoa's female basketball players.
“It will be an annual event to celebrate women ballers in Samoa every year,” the spokesperson said.
“It will take place every December during women's week.”
More than 100 women participated in the event.
“The players were awesome, the enthusiasm and excitement were overwhelming in a good way. We had a total of 116 women attending the event,” said the S.N.B.A. spokesperson.
In a statement, the International Basketball Federation (F.I.B.A.) said the week-long celebration for female players is part of Samoa’s bid to further hone talents across all its divisions.
The programme is presented by the S.N.B.A. in partnership with Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.) and Samoa Sports Facilities Authority (S.S.F.A.).
The ultimate goal is to boost Samoa’s women’s basketball beginning with the discovery of new players and develop them through continuous training.
“We envision developing and promoting female participants in basketball. The purpose of this week-long event is to push forward programs involving more females and involve them through an array of activities from officiating to caching and playing for their clubs and associations,” said Sarah-Lee Liliuokalani Malaesilia, S.N.B.A. Sports Administrator.
“The event has also served as a platform in showcasing the talents of our women players under right training in a mission to hone them to better cagers in the future. But apart from it, the event was fun and enjoyable.”
Also included in the week-long programme are seminars on leadership and awareness of violence against women and children, reiterating basketball’s vision as more than just a game and beyond the court.
Last September, Samoa also teamed up with the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) in a programme to develop teen players including high school and collegiate student-athletes.
It then followed with a national kids jamboree for players aged 14 years and under last October.