Twilight a Highlight for PNG Basketball
The popularity of hoops in Papua New Guinea is certainly on the rise, after more than 300 people attended the first-ever Twilight Basketball session held at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC) last Friday.
Children aged 15 and under took center stage and showcased their skills first, playing full- court games of 5 on 5 from 5pm to 7pm. It was then time for the older age group (16+) to throw down via the 3 on 3 version of the sport, with half-court matches taking place from 7pm to 9pm.
Twilight Basketball is a brand new BFPNG Hoops for Health (H4H) project, which is being delivered under the national federation’s community engagement strategy. It has been made possible through support & funding by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), the Federation of International Basketball (FIBA) and the Australian Government’s Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP) program.
The free program is open to all age groups and that was certainly reflected on opening night, with players aged from five to fifty all hitting the hardwood.
BFPNG Executive Officer Joel Khalu said the 319 total participants definitely exceeded the Federation’s opening night attendance expectations.
“To have that many come along and give it a try in week one was a huge accomplishment. We’ve done a lot of work promoting the program over the past month and were hoping to get about a hundred players on-court. To crack three-hundred really shows the popularity that Basketball has right now here in Port Moresby,” Mr. Khalu said.
“The atmosphere was extremely positive too. We actually had a number of older players comment about the vibe and how they’ve never been part of a sporting environment like that in Papua New Guinea before. That feedback was really great to hear.”
Mr. Khalu anticipated that ‘word-of- mouth’ advertising will see attendance numbers increase even more for week two.
“Now that the program has commenced and we had such a positive start, the Federation is expecting to see player numbers rise and will plan appropriately.”
“We’re going utilize an additional court this coming week to make sure everybody gets the opportunity to play as many games as possible.”
Doors open for this Friday’s Twilight Basketball session at 5pm.
For more information please contact BFPNG Executive Officer Joel Khalu on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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