Training Underway For Countries Premier Junior Hoop Stars

Training commenced this week for the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) Under 18 Men’s & Women’s National squads. The teams are hard at work in preparation for the FIBA Oceania Championships that will be held in Suva, Fiji from December 4-11.

The athletes underwent screening with members of the Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF) High Performance medical staff on Monday & Tuesday, before hitting the court yesterday for a grueling strength & conditioning training session.

For each of the next six-weeks, both squads will engage in two basketball specific training sessions, along with two strength & conditioning sessions that will be conducted by dedicated High Performance coaches.

National Capital District based squad members will be required to attend all sessions, while allowances will be made for those players residing in the regional provinces. BFPNG is planning to conduct an intense, full-weekend training camp for both teams to be held before their Fiji departure, allowing those travelling athletes, including Australian-based Liam Wright, the opportunity to attend and get contact time with teammates.

BFPNG Executive Officer Joel Khalu, who is also the Head Coach of the men’s under 18 side said that both teams would make the most of their preparation time, even with the logistical challenges involved.

“It’s not easy to coordinate training sessions when you have a squad featuring athletes that are based all over the country, but we’ll do our best to make sure all players, including those shadow-reserve players get the chance to participate,” Mr. Khalu said.”

“Not only are we preparing these athletes for the Under 18 Oceania Championships in Fiji, we’re also developing them for the long-term, which hopefully means PNG senior national team selection down the track.”

“If we can teach them good training habits now, they’ll be a much better chance of earning selection in senior PNG sides throughout the future,” Khalu added.

Along with their on-court commitments, the athletes have also been busy securing their passports, for what will be for many, their first ever overseas adventure.

“We’re also focusing on teaching these players beneficial life-skills,” Khalu added.

“A passport is a valuable item to possess, not just for sport, but for life in-general. Making sure each of our young people go through the process to receive theirs is a great learning experience.”

BFPNG are currently seeking sponsorships to make the tour to Fiji a reality.

“Obviously attending the types of international events brings many associated costs and we’re in need of sponsorship support to make everything happen,” Khalu noted.

“If there are any businesses throughout the country looking for a fantastic investment opportunity through sport, these two teams will definitely represent with passion and pride and if all goes to plan at the tournament, hopefully they’ll be returning back to PNG with an Oceania Championships medal around their necks.”

For more information please contact BFPNG Executive Officer Joel Khalu on 


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