B-ball plan for primary schools
BASKETBALL is looking to go into the primary schools.
Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) president Derrick Garrett said the sport’s upcoming redevelopment project will be focusing heavily on cultivating that age group with the hopes of soon establishing a primary school league.
Garrett disclosed his executive’s new objective while addressing Thursday’s opening ceremony of the United Insurance Schools’ Basketball Tournament at the Wildey Gym.
“We recognize that the development of basketball is driven by the youth and the schools have a very important role to play in this process, [so] with the help of the Olympic Solidarity movement we will be undertaking a programme looking at the overall basketball structure and we will be placing a heavy emphasis on youth development,” Garrett added.
“We want to invite PE teachers from the various schools to participate in a coaching clinic scheduled for October 19 to 23 this year.
“Mr Nelson Isley, FIBA instructor, will also be visiting schools to meet with the PE teachers and to look at the structure of basketball in the school system as part of this programme.”
It’s just one phase of a grand redevelopment scheme spearheaded by the American-born Isley that will see the overall reform of the local structure.
But the school stage has been identified as the project’s most significant following the sport’s more than decade long fall from grace which started with basketball’s decline in popularity at the school level.
13 of 22
Just 13 of the 22 public secondary schools currently compete in the Under-19 tournament – a far cry from the sport’s heyday in the 1990s when every school participated in the league.
“Part of this programme will be sending coaches into schools that don’t participate in the school league tournament with the hope of increasing participation at next year’s tournament,” Garrett said.
“[Ideally], we will also like to see all secondary schools participating in the school league tournament.”
According to Garrett, the project will also serve to identify talent, train coaches and improve the status of the national programme.
The project is set to be carried out in three two-month stints starting later this month with a FIBA Level 1 coaching clinic to be conducted by Isley.