The Rotary Club of Saipan renewed its commitment to supporting various sports programs especially those involving the youth. Rotary has sponsored the Rotary Youth Basketball League for more than 20 years, the last time in 2013.
Rotary’s sponsorship of the annual youth league was discontinued in 2014 with the club turning the funds into grants that they donate to different sports associations that ask for their help.
The Mariana Islands Basketball Federation, formerly known as the Basketball Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, renamed the RYBL to the Francisco Diaz Youth Basketball League in honor of former Rotary president and Saipan Mayor Francisco Diaz.
“Francisco Diaz was a Rotarian for over 25 years and he loved basketball so much. We are pleased that the [MIBF] named their league after former president,” said Rotary president Curtis Dancoe.
“Youth basketball on Saipan is very much alive and active. We haven’t received any letter from [MIBF official] Elias Rangamar asking if they need support or if they wanted us to sponsor the league,” he added.
Dancoe said that it would be nice if all the youth on Saipan would get involved in various sports and games, and not be contented in tinkering with their gadgets or mobile phones. Sports could also be a way to get higher education with colleges and universities offering scholarship programs.
“The challenge right now on Saipan is to get more youth involved in sports and other outdoor activities,” said Dancoe.
He also reminded members of their upcoming Goodwill Golf Tournament set in May 28. “We have to be active in fundraisers in order to have funds for our various community programs,” added Dancoe.