The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Basketball Competition will come to an end on Friday 6 February, 2015, at Bird’s Isle here in Belize City.
The Opening Ceremony will commence at 8:45 am and it will include all the champions of the six districts of Belize. The girls’ competition will be played at the Bird’s Isle while the boys’ competition will be played at the YWCA Court with both championship games being played at Bird’s Isle.
The schools that will participate in the championship includes from Belize District- Belize Elementary School (girls) and Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro (boys); from the Corozal District- Libertad Methodist School (girls and boys); from Orange Walk District- Louisiana Government School (girls and boys); from the Cayo District – St. Jude Roman Catholic School from Camalote Village (girls) and Mount Carmel Roman Catholic from Benque (boys); from the Stann Creek District- Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School from Dangriga Town (girls) and Holy Family Roman Catholic from Hopkins Village (boys) and from the Toledo District- St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic School (girls) and Punta Gorda Methodist (boys).
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports will present the championship trophies and medals.
Today at the Birds Isle and at the YWCA, the National Sports Council hosted the 2015 National Championships for basketball at the primary school level.
It's the opportunity that all the teams from the different districts have been battling for weeks to get a chance to participate in. Each district is represented by a male and a female team chosen from the winners rural and District tournaments.
Here's what the National Sports Coordinator for the National Sports Council told us about it's importance as an annual event:
This year's winner for the females are Louisiana Government Primary School for the Orange Walk District. They managed to defeat Saint Peter Claver Roman Catholic School.
For the males, Benque Viejo's Mount Carmel Primary School, who you saw warming up in yellow, are the new winners. They defeated Holy Cross from San Pedro, who are now the second place winners.
National Basketball Competition, Who Won the Titles?
Twelve primary schools met today to face off in the national basketball competition. Following a series of games through-out the day, Orange Walk’s Louisiana Government School and Mount Carmel Primary from Benque Viejo emerged as best female and male primary school basketball teams in Belize, respectively. News Five was out at Bird’s Isle Basketball Court for the opening this morning.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
The National Primary School Basketball Championship brought together over a hundred primary school students to the city. The male and female teams represent the best from each district.
Carlos Slusher, National Sports Coordinator, National Sports Council
“This is the National Championship Basketball for primary school and this is really the grand finale. This is where today will name the number one primary school team in the entire country. This lead up to a lot of tournament; local tournament within the districts; for example, we would have Belize City competition, Belize Rural and we have the Belize District representative. When we have each for the district, then they come for the national championship tournament.”
One Belize City team was prepared for the games and they were confident going in.
Allyana Musa, Belize Elementary School
“I expect us to do well. We have a good team and defense and shooting.”
“What has preparation been like? What did you guys do to prepare for today?”
“We did some lay ups, practices and passing drills after school.”
“So what about you, you think you guys gonna win today?”
Shaina Young, Belize Elementary School
“Which school do you think will be your biggest competition today?”
“I don’t know. I think we can win all of them.”
“So, who you think is gonna be the star- MVP today? From your team?”
“You think so?”
“How many points you think you are going to score?”
“So, you are sure that Belize Elementary is going to win today?”
“Yes. I hope so.”
Slusher says that the competition represents more than medals. The sport itself has shaped the personal growth of the young student athletes.
“The expression from the kids face when they are here. They get a chance to travel and interact with kids when they are here. We try to make it a fun event and show that it’s not just about winning, but other stuff you get from competition. We are not trying to turn the kids into super athletes or Olympic athletes, but we are trying to turn the kids into better persons; more socially, as leaders. They learn a lot of thing when they are here on the court Our mandate is not to deal specifically with the skills itself, but some of the other things that will help this young person when they leave primary school to become a better person as they go on in life. We are just using sports as an avenue to the kids.”
“Have you seen kids who played basketball in primary school and move on to the high school level and still engage in it?”
“Yes. I see some of the kids are our national team players, and in track and field in various sports a lot of the kids excel and that’s a very good feeling when you see things like that and it encourages you to continue with your program, because we really just; we love that we are providing this avenue for our students because maybe if we didn’t do it, no one would have done it for them. So we are very happy with the results and the success that we have gotten back from the kids, the teachers and the schools.”