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Linking basketball with good health habits |20 May 2023

Linking basketball with good health habits

Group photo of delegates (Photo: Neil Sirame)  

Using the love of basketball to drive change in our society is a bold initiative of the Seychelles National Youth Council with the help of the Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball Association.

The next phase of the platform Basketball for Good platform which is named Hoops for Health was launched yesterday morning at the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) headquarters, Sacos Tower, in the presence of Youth, Sports and Family Minister Marie-Celine Zialor, principal secretary for youth and sports Ralph Jean-Louis, SNYC chief executive Albert Duncan, Seychelles Basketball Federation chairperson Jana Malbrook, and representatives from Al Salaam Bank which is fully funding the project, and Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball Association (Fiba) expert and retired WNBA player Annie La Fleur who is conducting the workshop.

SNYC CEO Duncan said in his opening statement that “hoops for health would be a great tool by using the love of basketball to drive change in our society”.

He added that this initiative will help health-wise and tackle different health risks among the youths such as obesity, it will also promote discipline and get young people to refrain from substance abuse and other social ills as they will be motivated and occupied in sports .

“Our friends from Fiba came a long way for this project, let us use the programme to instil the love of sports and link good health habits to make a change for our youths who are facing many challenges in society,” said Mr Duncan.

The CEO also shared that they will have modules and drills in different schools linking basketball with good living habits. He mentioned that similar projects have been implemented in other island states in the Pacific where there are alarming issues of obesity and non-communicable diseases like in Seychelles. Through the memorandum of understanding signed between the department for youths and sport and the Ministry of Education, it allows them to easily implement the drills in the physical education curriculum.

The reason why many physical education (PE) teachers have been selected for this workshop is to provide them with the skillset to implement the hoops for health programme which has good impacts in schools.

For Seychelles Basketball Federation chairperson Jana Malbrook, the programme would help re-ignite basketball in the hearts of the youths.

“It would be also an advantage for the youths not just physically but in their everyday life,” added Ms Malbrook.

“Another reason for hoops for health is that the children will grasp the knowledge of the effects of what they consume alongside the positive impact of a good diet that contributes in having good physical attributes and most importantly to have fun playing the game,” she said.

The young SBF president stated that as the federation they would like the programme to become the stepping stone for these youths to fight against the social ills in the country and after the three-year duration of the programme they would like to see changes impacting deeply in our society.

Addressing the gathering, Youth, Sports and Family Minister Marie-Celine Zialor welcomed the representatives from Fiba and said she was very grateful to Al Salaam Bank for its support.

Minister Zialor believes that sport is the key answer to all of the social ills and congratulated the SNYC for this initiative, adding that thanks to the modern leadership the council has shown it can help mould the youths.

Minister Zialor emphasised that personal health and wellbeing is a responsibility each individual has to take at heart. She added that the department and the ministry will support the initiatives by the basketball federation, but all will depend on how the federation is being managed.

The minister stated that during the budgetary exercise with the National Sports Council they were able to secure some money to fund the school basketball leagues for boys and girls, adding that this is a mechanism for talent identification for other grassroots programmes.


Neil Sirame



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