Pikinini's Using Basketball to Pioneer Peace

They might not know it just yet, but the next generation of Papua New Guinea basketballers are on the right track to making a positive difference.

Each Wednesday for the past three-weeks, children between the ages of eight and twelve have been coming together for the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea’s (BFPNG) Pikinini Hoops program.

Not only are kids being taught fundamental skills like dribbling, passing and shooting, they’re also learning important life values including friendship, teamwork and enjoying their sport.

It comes at a great time with today being the United Nations International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

“We are seeing young people from a wide variety of backgrounds coming together each Wednesday to have fun with each other,” BFPNG Chief Executive Officer Joel Khalu said.

“Most are too young to understand now, but what these kids are actually doing is help break down barriers through basketball.”

“It’s exciting for us to see them on this journey. Papua New Guinean’s love their sport and we want to be the leading National Federation that’s educating kids about vital things like fair-play and sportsmanship.”

“At this age, it’s most important that sport is fun. We want our younger players to learn to love the game, so they become life-long hoopers. If we can do that, we’ll be encouraging them to live healthier, while also helping combat things like non-communicable diseases,” Khalu added.

The Pikinini Hoops program has shown growth since its inception, with almost fifty participants showing up at last night’s session at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre.

“We started with fifteen in week one and now we’re up to fifty just two weeks later. It’s fantastic!” Khalu said.

The Hoops for Health initiative has one more session scheduled to be held next Wednesday (April 12), before it will break over the Easter holiday period.

For more information please contact Chief Executive Officer Joel Khalu on khalujoel@gmail.com


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