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FIBA Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis presented the award to Australian Senator and Minister for Sport, the Hon. Richard Colbeck, on the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. / FIBA
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BASKETBALL FOR GOOD

Story courtesy of FIBA
 
The Australian Government has been presented with a recognition award by the international basketball federation, FIBA, for its outstanding support of the Basketball for Good activities funded through Team Up (and previously through Pacific Sports Partnerships) in FIBA's Oceania region.

FIBA Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis presented the award to Australian Senator and Minister for Sport, the Hon. Richard Colbeck, on 23 July in Tokyo a day before the Olympic Games commenced.

"We are very grateful for the partnership we have with the Australian Government in supporting our Basketball for Good programs in partnerships with the FIBA Foundation and the FIBA Oceania regional office. In the last seven years, these programs have excelled and helped communities in the Oceania region while providing a platform to develop and promote basketball in safe environments," said Zagklis.

The Team Up program and its predecessor, Pacific Sports Partnerships, have supported FIBA's Basketball for Good initiatives in the region since their launch in 2014 in Suva, Fiji. Since then, Basketball for Good has expanded to Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Samoa, Timor Leste, and Vanuatu. The initiative, which is currently supported by the Australian Government through Team Up in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, aims to support all communities to reach their full potential through sport. The program is delivered by FIBA Oceania in partnership with Basketball Fiji and Basketball PNG respectively.

Basketball for Good programs in Oceania aim to attract and retain participants, focusing on women and girls, as well as providing safe, inclusive and accessible environments to help participants enjoy their basketball experiences.

The meeting between Mr Zagklis and Minister Colbeck also marked the launch of a seven-year report on the outcomes of the Basketball for Good program under Pacific Sports Partnerships (which concluded in 2020). The full report can be found here.

Highlights include:

Increased youth participation

In Fiji, total participation increased 353 per cent from 6,173 in the pilot year (2014) to 27,995 by 2020, whilst Papua New Guinea saw a 2,700 per cent increase from 3,131 in 2016 to 87,912 by the end of 2020.

Improved opportunities for women and girls

The partnership has provided a platform for women to take up roles as employees, volunteers, and ambassadors with national federations.

Enhanced governance of national basketball federations

The programs employed basketball personnel in Fiji (3 pax), Papua New Guinea (2 pax), Samoa (1 pax), and Tahiti (1 pax).

Twilight Basketball

The Twilight Basketball program in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was delivered in partnership with the Australian Federal Police and the PNG Constabulary to complement local crime prevention efforts. Criminal activity fell by 30 per cent in areas where the program was hosted. A documentary series on Twilight Basketball was also produced and has enjoyed reach of more than 850,000 on social media.

The Basketball for Good programs in the Pacific are supported by the Australian Government through Team Up and the FIBA Foundation.

The Basketball for Good program runs in schools and communities in Papua New Guinea / Basketball PNG

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