BUENOS AIRES - Thousands of children will meet up in Argentina during October to represent their respective nations at the fourth FIBA Americas International Festival of Mini Basketball.
The popular event has always been celebrated as a resounding success. Children will again be given the chance to enjoy plenty of Mini Basketball games and additional fun activities, all of which are focused on promoting sporting values and encouraging social development, through the meeting of different cultures in a healthy environment.
Indeed the festival is not viewed as a competition or tournament as such, but more of a valuable exchange programme.
Mini Basketball is a game played by both boys and girls and is essentially a modification of the adult game, adapted to the needs of children. The ball size is reduced and the height of the boards and the basket is lowered. Since basketball has many technical rules, these are also minimised in the mini-version of the game.
The last festival took place across four days last year in the Dominican Republic city of La Vega and nearly 400 children from the ages of 11 and 12 participated.
The Festival brought together delegations from 20 provinces, 10 sporting club team clubs, and players from several countries, including Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador.
Since its inception in 2010 in Ecuador, the festival has went from strength to strength and has become one of the most celebrated dates in the FIBA Americas calendar, as well as being one of the main drivers for promoting basketball to young people.
Mini Basketball is viewed as an important seed which can generate future players, coaches, referees, trainers, leaders and professionals.
FIBA Americas is therefore working relentlessly with various national federations, to ensure they place value on the importance of having an active Mini Basketball programme.
Parents are also being encouraged to do everything they can to get their children engaged in Mini Basketball activities, which are deemed a positive teaching and learning vehicle.
Participants learn to follow and respect the rules, learn how to win and lose and how to develop character and personality.
Such values learned in this kind of competition are also said to provide security and strengthen self-esteem of children.
The festival will take place between 11 and 14 October.