Turning to basketball, the Belize Basketball Federation (B.B.F.) participated in the annual COCABA meeting on June first in Montelimar, Nicaragua. Following that meeting, it was confirmed that our local ballers will be participating in the 2013 U-fourteen championships to be held in Honduras at a date to be announced. If that is good news, it gets even better…because Belize will play host to the 2015 COCABA U-fourteen championship for boys and girls. It is nothing short of exciting for the athletes and fans who will get an opportunity to witness the international games in the Jewel. This afternoon News Five asked the B.B.F. President, Paul Thompson, if the facilities were up to mark.
Paul Thompson, President, Belize Basketball Federation
“Belize was selected to host the COCABA U-fourteen tournament in 2015; that would be for boys and for girls. There is a new format for advancing to what will be called the World Cup of basketball in 2019—it will change from World Championships to World Cup. And in 201, countries will be put into groups and they will pay home and away games and teams that advance go on and seven teams from FIBA Americas will advance to the World Cup of Basketball where you will have thirty-two teams now participating there. That World Cup of Basketball will be the qualifying game for teams to go to the following Olympics. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our talent to our fans and our Belizean population for them to see what it is that these other countries bring in terms of their skills and where they are in basketball. It will give us an opportunity to maybe gain some revenue from this. So these are areas where it will be beneficial to us.”
“Does Belize have the facilities to host these games?”
“One of the reasons they set the date for this for us to play on 2015 is because they gave a couple years for us to prepare for this. How they selected it was they started and said that it would go in alphabetical order because they have a schedule now from now to 2028 who will host these tournaments. So they gave us a two year break for us to get ready. Currently we have two facilities I guess that we would use—that would be in either Belmopan or Orange Walk. Now these facilities will have to be upgraded somehow and in the next two years we will make preparations for this.”
Thompson expects that the newly formed company, Belize Infrastructure Limited, will assist in rehabilitating the sporting facilities across the country.