Basketball Fiji proves it's all in the ability
Sunday, December 3, 2017, marks International Day for Persons with Disabilities and it's the perfect time to shine a light on Basketball Fiji's Special Schools Development program which has now been proudly running for 17 months.
Basketball Fiji's Chief Operating Officer, Laisiasa Puamau, said the program has seen expediential growth over this time.
"We started this program with a humble ten participants from Suva Special School and now we have over 176 participants from six special schools across Suva."
Jonno Steele, Basketball Fiji's Disability and Sports Development Officer, said the program’s biggest achievement is in its sustainability.
"Basketball Fiji has trained twelve special school teachers to ensure the program continues to live on well after I sadly leave Fiji."
"This legacy will take the form of a Special and Inclusive School Basketball Association in Suva. It will be professionally managed and operated by the Suva special school teachers."
"The past 17 months has shown that basketball can truly make a difference. We see smiles and faces light up each time that basketball enters the school gate. Not to mention the new skills the students have learned, the program really has been an amazing feat," he said.
Puamau said this program has been one of Basketball Fiji's most outstanding achievements to date.
"We have been so lucky to be able to play such an active role in the inclusion space, it's an area that we hope to further develop in basketball and across Fiji in general."
"Without the help and enthusiasm of Jonno Steele, this program would not have been possible or have grown to be the great success it is today. Thanks Jonno," he said.