After last year's success, the joint initiative between Reliance Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA) went underway on November 11th, at the Dominic Savio School in Mumbai.
The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program started with a 2 day 'Train the Trainers' program. Post its success last year this initiative is now expanding to 8 cities including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kochi, Kottayam, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.
The Program's Objective
Under the leadership of Chairperson, Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation has worked hard towards playing a catalytic role in addressing India's various development challenges. The foundation's vision to enhance the country's sporting culture is evident through its involvement in the Hero Indian Super League.
The NBA is a global sports and media company that is built around the National Basket Association, the women's National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League.
The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA initiative aims to be known as a comprehensive youth basketball program. With the help of positive values in sports, it works towards engaging and influencing the lives of Indian youth. The focus of this initiative is to inspire students to play the sport, adopt healthy living habits and pursue an active lifestyle. They understand that basketball acts as an excellent form of exercise and helps in inculcating valuable life lessons such as discipline, dedication, teamwork, sportsmanship and sacrifice.
Last Year's Reception
2013 was the first year this program was deployed. Conducted in three cities, Mumbai, Kochi and Kottayam, the program engaged more than 140,000 students from 225 schools. 40% of these students were female. Last year, over 250 coaches were trained and 4,500 basketballs were distributed among partnering schools. NBA legend MuggsyBogues and WNBA player Swin Cash visited Mumbai and Kochi to conduct coach training sessions, manage player clinics and to show support for the program.
Promoting Basketball at the Grassroots Level
For the next three months, three international NBA certified coaches will set camp in Mumbai to supervise the program, train coaches and work alongside schools to teach the sport to youth across the Maharashtra.
It is expected that 200 physical education coaches from the 200 partner schools which include 100 MCGM schools will receive training from these coaches. In addition to this, turnkey curriculums will be provided on how to go about teaching the sport to the students. The 'Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Basketball in a Bag' kit provided to the local coaches will consist of resources that help them promote the game within communities. This kit consists of an India-specific coaching guide a well as a curriculum for in-school and after-school coaching programs. In addition to this, the kit also contains gear such as basketballs, nets, cones, air pumps and whistles.
The international coaches intend to help support the implementation of this program at each and every partnering school. Here, the local coaches and the physical education instructors are expected to conduct basket-ball led weekly PE classes for students between classes 3 and 10.
In addition to the 'Train the Trainer' program, the initiative in Mumbai will include in-school basketball sessions, elite training camps and a city final that features 3X3, 5X5 and shooting competitions.