The Basketball in Schools programme, under the auspices of the Malta Basketball Association, was launched lately.
This project came into being after the official proposal was given the go-ahead and was endorsed by the Ministry of Education, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth and Sport as well as the Department of Education and Sport Malta.
FIBA also actively assists the Basketball in Schools Programme through the FIBA Europe Youth Development Programme.
This programme is, in essence, aimed to create basketball awareness amongst schoolchildren as well as aid the national effort to have more physical activity during regular school hours.
In fact, the sessions are essentially basic basketball awareness sessions to introduce the game of basketball to the young kids but at the same time also introducing generic physical exercise through core fundamentals and basic body co-ordination activities.
The procedure followed is that this programme is gradually being offered to all the primary schools in Malta (and hopefully we are also thinking of maybe extending it in the coming months and offer it to lower age middle year schools, i.e. Forms 1 and 2 or Years 7 and 8).
An interested school applies for the programme and, once accepted, will then select which year group/s will be taking part in the programme. We are suggesting that two year groups will be addressed per school and the choice should ideally be between (taking the local year group structure in schools) Year 4 (8 year olds), Year 5 (9 year olds), Year 6 (10 year olds) and, as from hopefully in the coming months, Form 1 (11 year olds) and Form 2 (12 year olds).
The programme consists of a five (5) to eight (8) session programme in each respective school spread over a short span of weeks (we are recommending once a week) with each session fitting in the normal school day’s timetable so as not to disrupt unnecessarily the academic subjects and thereby making it easier for heads of schools to accept to include the programme in their school’s activities.
The Malta Basketball Association, being eager to have more schoolchildren become aware of basketball and increase the possibility of them opting to play basketball with local clubs later on, generally provides all the necessary basketball technical equipment for the sessions with the only requisite asked being at least one basketball board.
This programme is really primarily aimed to create basketball awareness among schoolchildren but is also envisaged to be an aid (both from the education and sport central administration’s perspectives) to the much needed, national effort to have more quality, physical activity during regular school hours for our children.
Some of the work carried out so far: (but not limited to)