THE National Basketball Federation of TT (NBFTT) in an effort to build the sport among women and girls in TT will launch a women’s basketball league, next month.
Chairperson of the TT Women’s Basketball League Allison Bastien said the aim of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) programme is to increase women’s involvement in administration in the sport throughout the Americas.
FIBA asked all national federations to nominate a woman to represent their respective country in a programme and each person in that programme must implement a project in their home country.
Bastien, who was nominated by the NBFTT, decided to develop a national women’s basketball league.
“We will have our official launch on the 11th of December. I am very excited about the project, but the end goal would be a national female league,” Bastien told Newsday. Bastien is also the general secretary of the TT Schools Basketball Association and the general secretary of the North Zone Schools Basketball League.
It is uncertain when the league will begin because of covid19, but Bastien said many steps must occur before the league becomes a reality.
“In order to get a sustainable female league, we have decided that we will create programmes along the way so we have earmarked a community caravan (and) we have a school initiative – different things along the way to develop the interest in females in basketball so that when we have a league we will have girls who are interested in competing.”
Bastien does not want the league to be a one-off, therefore going into communities and schools will increase the pool of interested people.
Asked if she thinks netballers may be willing to get involved in basketball, Bastien said, “I would think so because it is the same skill set relatively so it can be transferred so it could be easier for them, but we also are interested in developing the interest in new girls.”
Bastien plans to reach out to sponsors to help increase the chances of a successful league.
“It is my intent to go to sponsors. In order to fund the programme, we would need sponsors. We would be looking for sponsors soon.”
Vice-president, marketing and communication of NBFTT Stefan Dillon is also eager to get the league started.
Dillon said, “We identified some women and girls to be our ambassadors and I think we feed off them in terms of how they believe female basketball should be in the country and how it supposed to be run and the support they supposed to be getting.
“I think it is a step in the right direction in terms of promoting women in basketball and promoting women in sport by extension, so I am excited to see where it goes and I know the females and girls who are following are excited to have something that they can call their own.”