Basketball Fiji supports International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women
Laisiasa Puamau, Basketball Fiji’s Chief Operating Officer, said it was the perfect time to leverage the support and many followers of the sport for the promotion of important social messages.
“Basketball is gender inclusive, we have many men and women who live for basketball and who love a good reason to turn up to the court and play ball.”
“So we capitalised on that captive audience and spread the message that Basketball Fiji does not support violence against women,” he said.
“We supported our message on the day with representation from a number of key women’s groups including an opening speech from Reijieli Biutiganena Mawa from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation. We also had UN Women and Medical Services Pacific in attendance and they answered lots of interesting questions and provided great information to competitors and spectators alike.”
“Basketball Fiji is proud of the event's success, we had ten men's teams and five women's teams competing for first prize."
"We saw the Knights take home the win in the women's final against FNU 5-4. In the men's final we saw the National Men's team take home the win against Boston 19-17."
"Both finals were close, with extra time needed in the women's and men's matches to decide the winner."
"But most importantly, we saw the event as an opportunity to give back to the women in our basketball community who work tirelessly behind the scenes on and off the court to achieve amazing outcomes for basketball,” he said.
The event also provided an opportunity for the 3x3 National Men’s and Women’s team to practice in a tournament setting before heading to Vanuatu to compete at the Mini Pacific Games in December this year.
Kenneth Taliu, 3x3 National Men’s and Women’s team Manager, said the timing was perfect for the teams as their preparations are in full swing to experience 3x3 on the International stage for the first time.
“Earlier this year, the 3x3 format of basketball was named an Olympic sport and it’s set to debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Fiji is in the perfect position to practice and prepare for this new and fast version of the game we love.”
“Our teams are looking strong in their game and they showed a great level of excitement and commitment to their participation in a tournament that spoke out against such a significant social issue,” he said.
The 3x3 tournament was funded through the Hoops for Health (H4H) program, an Australian Government and Pacific Sports Partnership Program initiative, that receives continued support from FIBA.