The joint initiative of Reliance Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA), Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program, is a basketball program launched for the youth.
Expansion of the program
The Foundation announced that the program expects to involve over 1.5 million young basketball players and 2,700 physical education (PE) instructors and coaches in 2015 – 2016.
Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program aims to promote the values of basketball and positively influence the lives of young boys and girls of the country. 2,200 schools have participated in the program this far. These schools include basketball in their PE curriculum, through which they inspire youngsters to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle.
This is the third year of the program, which will soon expand its reach from 8 to 14 cities. Some of the cities to be includedare Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kochi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Jalandhar, Kottayam, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. The program will run from September and end in March, next year.
Views of the organizations
A spokesperson of Reliance Foundation expressed the organization’s delight as the program is expanding its reach. The program has impacted the lives of many children through the game of basketball. The Foundation expressed its gratitude towards NBA for its resources and expertise and also thanked the coaches, schools and PE teachers for their support.
NBA India Vice President and Managing Director, Yannick Colaco said that the program not only makes the youth active, but also inculcates values like leadership and teamwork in them. He stated, “On the heels of Sim Bhullar becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in the NBA and Satnam Singh becoming the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA, children in India are as excited as ever about trying the game, and the growth of our program will ensure we get basketballs in the hands of even more boys and girls across the country.”
Sketch of the program
The Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program does not levy any charges on the participants. It trains the local coaches. The program also includes in-school basketball clinics and elite training camps.
NBA International Basketball Operations staff will be present in each of the cities to supervise the program for three months. Finals will be held in each city with 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 competitions.All the schools will be equipped with basketballs, cones, an India-specific coaching guide with curricula for in-school and after-school programs, and a poster of Reliance Foundation Junior NBA to encourage students’ participation. Additionally, all the cities will conduct three ‘Mini Hoops Weekends’ that will have fun basketball activities for children.
Since the launch of the program in 2013, over 10 lakh youth from 1,000 schools of 9 cities have participated in the program.The initiative has providedthem with over 15,000 basketballs and 300 basketball rims. In addition, 2,000 PE teachers have received training from NBA International Basketball Operations staff.
Popular NBA names like Bruce Bowen, Swin Cash, Muggsy Bogues, Tamika Catchings and Sim Bhullar have come to India to extend theirsupport tothe program.
Reliance Foundation Junior NBA program will expand its reach for the year 2015 – 2016 to involve 1.5 million young basketball players and 2,700 PE coaches from 14 cities across the country.