PORT MORESBY - The Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) hosted their first-ever Twilight Basketball session at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre (TAIC) in Port Moresby last Friday.
The free program is open to all ages, with 5on5 games for children aged 15 and under, while partakers who are 16 and over get to compete in 3x3 contests. The on-court action is complemented with music, entertainment and cool prizes to be won.
“The atmosphere was really positive,” said BFPNG Executive Officer Joel Khalu. “We actually had a number of older players comment about the vibe and how they’ve never been part of a sporting environment like that in PNG before. That feedback was really great to hear.”
Khalu couldn’t have predicted such an amazing turnout in week one.
“To have 319 participants in week one was a huge accomplishment. We’ve done a lot of work promoting the program over the past month and we were hoping to get about 100 players on-court. To crack the 300 mark just shows the popularity that Basketball has here in Port Moresby.”
Khalu discussed the future plans of the program.
“This Twilight basketball block will run for six weeks, taking us through to basically the end of November. We’ll then re-launch the program again in Term 2 of 2017 for another six-week segment.”
“Hopefully through the success of these two programs, we’ll then be able to generate some further funding, to deliver another block in Term 4 of 2017. It’s definitely something we want to make sustainable, especially with all of the positive benefits it brings to the community.”
Twilight basketball, more commonly known as ‘midnight basketball’ was originally an initiative created in the 1990s in the United States to curb inner-city crime by keeping urban youth off the streets and engaging them with alternatives to drugs and crime.