The Northern Mariana Islands Basketball Federation has announced the new schedule for “Bola” with the Mini Basketball Village Outreach Program set to start on Dec. 4 at the San Antonio Basketball Court.
NMIBF president James Lee said that “Bola” has been pushed back to next month in response to the community’s concern on having public events amid the presence of community COVID-19 cases. “Bola,” which is also presented by FIBA Oceania and FIBA Foundation, was originally set to kick off on Nov. 6, but the start date was moved to Nov. 20 and then to Dec. 4 as safety measure against the pandemic.
“As much as we want to move ahead with the Nov. 20 reschedule and provide our village residents the much-needed outdoor activities, the NMIBF board decided that the community’s safety is and will always be our priority. We will be working with children and we share the same concern that their parents have at this timeline so we will go ahead with the program once it is safe to do so,” Lee said.
The program is free and will be offered to children in the 12 years old and below age group with the first seven sessions to cater to 10 villages. From San Antonio, the NMIBF and its volunteers will bring “Bola” to Garapan Basketball Court on Dec. 11 for Garapan residents; to Civic Center Basketball Court on Dec. 18 for Susupe; Kagman Community Center Court on Jan. 8, 2022 for Kagman; Chinatown Basketball Court on Jan. 15 for Chinatown; San Vicente Basketball Court on Jan. 22, 2022 for Dandan and San Vicente; and As Matuis Basketball Court on Jan. 29, 2022 for Tanapan and San Roque.
Each session will run from 4pm to 6pm with NMIBF officials and volunteers teaching participants skills and values on and off the court and engaging them in fun activities that also promote health and wellness. The NMIBF will also bring “Bola” in other villages on Saipan for the next leg and will plan separate sessions, too for Rota and Tinian.
As a culmination event of the first leg of “Bola,” the NMIBF will host the Inter-Village Mini Basketball Games on Feb. 5, 2022 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Registration is now open with sign up forms available at the youth centers in different villages. Registration and waiver forms can also be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NMIBF is holding “Bola” in partnership with the Office of the Governor, Saipan Mayor’s Office, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, DCCA’s Sports and Recs, and the Office of Youth Affairs. The NMIBF has also reached out to other government and private entities, government leaders, and other stakeholders and has received positive response that will definitely boost the village outreach program. (PR)