Mini Basketball clinic tips off at Hillel Prep
The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) commenced the Prep schools' phase of its mini basketball with an introductory clinic at Hillel Prep School last Friday.
Nearly 100 students from grades 4-6 participated in the clinic, which was conducted by INSPORTS' Calvin Martin, who also heads the Southern Conference, and Alf Remekie, national coordinator of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA).
"It was well received," said Martin. "We had them in two groups, so it was easier to work with."
INSPORTS has committed almost $1.5m in support of the programme over the next eight months.
Several coaches from its just-concluded Level One coaching certification course for new coaches also participated in the clinic, which forms part of their assessment exercise.
Coaches from Hillel Prep were delighted with the event and expressed an interest in other such sessions to assist in growing the popularity of the game at the institution.
"The coaches are interested in a programme," Martin said, noting plans to return for other clinics.
Mark Broomfield, president, JaBA, welcomed the initiative by INSPORTS and expressed satisfaction at the partnership with Government, stating that Mini Basketball is one of the cornerstones of his administration's development plan.
"I welcome the idea and the initiative. A clinic is good to introduce the sport," said Broomfield. "My personal belief is that these agencies that have as their mandate to develop sports must look at grassroots programmes and support sustainable development programmes. So a clinic in a school is a good programme."
He added: "Outside of clinics, there must be competitions in which they can get a chance to practice ... you must have a sustainable environment.
"My understanding is that it is going to transition into competitions."
Martin confirmed this, saying INSPORTS will be implementing the Mini Basketball programme in two stages, at the community and school levels, with a prep and primary schools competition.
"We started the competition last school term. It had been absent for three to four years," he said of the competition among junior institutions.
"In terms of numbers we're looking to have 40 in Kingston, 15 in St Catherine and Portmore, and about 10-12 in Montego Bay, and we hope to expand it year by year. We've some St Thomas schools and some in Hanover who are also interested.
"The school section will come after GSAT. The communities will have their first event sometime to the end of November to the beginning of December," Martin continued.
As organisers, he says they are trying their best to make the competitions cost-effective.
"We'll be providing bibs, so all the schools have to do is get to the venue. We're trying to make it as low cost as possible so the schools won't have to spend any money."