Local FIBA official leads Basketball Workshop in Fiji

OFFICIALS from Basketball Fiji received a boost prior to the Fiji Cup, with a dedicated workshop empowering local participants to facilitate basketball competition in the region.

Building professional capabilities and enabling national federations to organise FIBA events are two core pillars in the FIBA strategic objectives, which include empowering national federations.

Debbie Keirs (Werrington County) worked for Basketball NSW for 13 years and still volunteers for them, along with Basketball Australia and the NBL. As an accredited FIBA referee instructor and FIBA accredited score table official, Debbie travelled to Fiji to deliver the workshop and firmly believes that development opportunities such as this play a valuable part in shaping basketball communities.

“There are so many ways that people can contribute to and be a part of the basketball family,” Debbie said. “Development of officials is an area where many people can have a positive impact on both participation and growth.”

Whilst acknowledging the challenges of officiating, Debbie sees the potential for officials to develop valuable skills on and off the court.

“My hope is the ongoing education, development, support and mentoring that each official instructor can provide helps improve individual resilience, whilst supporting the growth of basketball in the region,” Debbie said.

Debbie Keirs in Fiji with workshop attendees from Fiji Basketball. Photo supplied by FIBA.

She also commented on her experience with Basketball Fiji as a positive step, with highly engaged participants a great reflection of basketball growth in the country.

“It was a pleasure to work with everyone that attended the Fiji Cup,” Debbie said. “All the officials who attended the pre-competition workshop, some of whom were players and score table officials, were very engaged and actively participated in all sessions. All participants were encouraged to ask lots of questions, embracing the opportunity to seek further comment and information.

“The range of officials was diverse, some with minimal experience, some with more extensive experience. Everyone was open to learning and developing and it was a pleasure to work with all the participants. Basketball Fiji is very keen to support the education of officials and grow the referee community.”

Debbie’s contribution to the region also supports FIBA’s strategic priority of Women in Basketball, to develop and leverage female coaches and officials.

Executive Director – Oceania, Amanda Jenkins, said “The growth of female engagement on and off the court across the region is positive. All 22 federations in Oceania are striving to include and develop female basketball participation, both on and off the court. With increased opportunities for female players, officials, and volunteers to be involved in basketball, we look forward to seeing this upward trend continue.”

Basketball Fiji is supported by FIBA, the FIBA Foundation and the Australian Government through Team Up.