Maldives bets big on Mini Basketball to revive grassroots participation post COVID

Maldives bets big on Mini Basketball to revive grassroots participation post COVID

Male, Maldives, November 24, 2022: Putting the pandemic-fuelled disruptions firmly behind it, Maldives is betting big on Mini Basketball as a means to return to normalcy.

In a feature article this week, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has highlighted the efforts being made by the Maldives Basketball Association (MBA) to encourage grassroots activities in the small island country with a population of around 500,000.

In September this year, MBA organised its first ever ‘Mini Basketball Festival’ for children in the age group of 5-12 years. Maldives is hoping that grassroots basketball activities such as these will boost its player numbers that declined post COVID.

“The whole festival was designed in a way to avoid competition at the young age, instead we requested all the schools, coaches, and parents to let them enjoy the game. We avoided recording scores. This was as per FIBA’s guideline for Mini Basketball,” Adnan Adam, MBA President was quoted by FIBA.

The development of Mini Basketball is part of FIBA’s Strategic Priorities to empower National Federations.

The Mini Basketball Festival witnessed the participation of 12 schools, 96 teams and a total of 255 games played.

“We initially planned to accommodate around 600 kids. However, participation exceeded our expectations. This was due to outstanding support received from the academies and schools,” Adam said, highlighting participation numbers which was a whopping 1376.

While the Mini Basketball Festival aims to boost participation at the base of the pyramid, MBA has also been conscious of the need to ensure that at the higher competitive levels, players don’t wilt under the pressure from their parents and peers.

To this end the MBA has also targeted higher age groups and runs schools development programmes.