Due to its foundation of positive values and its ability to bring people together, sport is one of the most powerful contributors towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace.
To raise awareness of this potential, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly.
FIBA’s Basketball ‘+’ program aligns with this foundation of using sport, more specifically basketball, for positive development objectives and messages of peace. This mission is no more prevalent than in the case of Vanuatu’s Hoop for Health (H4H) program; the Vanuatu Basketball Federation (VBF) H4H coaches are role models in the community.
They use this status to help bring joy to the children in their community, develop their lifestyle habits and educate them on the risks and prevention of non-communicable diseases. In doing this, they sought to give kids the tools to succeed later in life, on and off the court.
“This program has taught me a lot about the NCD diseases,” said VBF H4H Coach – Mary.
“It teaches me about how important life is and maintaining it.”
“It helps me to think beyond areas outside the court. How I should help others into knowing the impacts of the diseases and how they could help stay healthy at all times.”
After the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in 2015, the children of Vanuatu were looking for something particular from the H4H Coaches; they were looking for hope.
VBF found that they could use the H4H program for more than just healthy lifestyle messaging. They could use it as an opportunity to empower demoralized children and distract them from the hardship that surrounded them during the aftermath of Pam.
The VBF’s H4H program has reached 3,324 (F 1,699) participants to date, many of whom could be living very different lives without it.
We hope you enjoyed watching the amazing work of the VBF coaches in part one of our documentary series exploring the Hoops for Health program across Oceania. FIBA’s Hoops for Health program is made possible due to Australian Government funding through the Pacific Sports Partnership Program.