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Kids Competition Advocates Discipline

BY Nathan WOTI   |   SportsTok Magazine | Issue #96, July 2021

We’ve heard and seen it before how powerful sports can be in transforming an individual or a society by promoting positive values and healthy lifestyle. As such, Baimuru Basketball Association in Gulf Province is setting an example by using the sport of basketball to educate, empower and discipline young kids in the community through its’ sub-divisional association, the Baimuru Pikinini Basketball Association. The association through it’s’ kids competition program aims to get young kids involved in active and healthy lifestyle.
The idea to create a kids competition was largely due to the fact that the district had seen unprecedented increase in teenage pregnancy, poor academic performances in its’ primary and secondary education continuous declining in number of students attending schools. This prompted parents, community leaders, pastors and youth leaders to look at how best they can minimize these issues, while at the same time convey the active and healthy lifestyle messages to the younger population in the community.
The programs or messages which are shared in-between or after game time are mainly aimed at upskilling young kids as well as getting them off from the streets and into meaningful, healthy and positive lifestyles. This is to bring change into the community as well as motivate and inspire young athlete who will grow up to be good role models in the community.
President of the association, Sergeant Hape, said the program or competition is aimed at disciplining young’s kids and motivating them to be active members of the community. “The bigger picture is for these kids to have an opportunity to play and move up further to pursue a career in basketball”, said the basketball association president, Sergeant Hepa.
The competition gained interests from kids as young as 10 to 16 years old. Each teams played under certain age groups. Kids between the age of 9-11 years old were put to play in the under 12 category, and teams made up of teens played in the under 16 and 17 category.  



While more emphasis was placed on advocating about the social issues in the community, the game itself was competitive.  
Having school age kids playing and participating in such community organized sport gives the young people, especially kids, a sense of responsibility to their community.
The president of the association wants to see more young people.
“This competition is for young children and so far we seen growth, not only, in sport but other areas as well,” he said.
“It is something we want to continue see in the future eventually. Most teams have agreed to come back next year so we are looking forward for that.
Hopefully we can get some sponsors to sponsor the comp next year so that we can reach kids next year onwards”, said the association president.
This goes in line with the PNG Basketball Federation program “Basket4Good”. The PNG Sports Foundation through basketball Federation has donated balls as well as sending the high performance team to make train and officiate matches.
What the Baimuru Pikinini Basketball Association should become an example for all the other communities and districts in PNG facing similar social issues to follow. Sports has the power to change people, why not use it to bring about important social and behavioral change in the community, district, province and the nation as a whole.

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