|29 September 2006|
FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin completed a two-day visit in Belarus, where he met with Alexander Grigorov, Minister of Sport and Tourism, George Katulin, Secretary General of the Belarus Olympic Committee, and Lev Pimenov, President of the Belarus Basketball Federation, among other leaders.
Belarus has taken dramatic strides in basketball this year, particularly on the women’s side, and the sport was given even a greater boost after an agreement made between FIBA Europe, the Ministry of Sport and the Belarus Basketball Federation.
This past month, Belarus earned a berth to the EuroBasket Women final round for the first time in country history following their strong performance in the qualifying round.
On the youth side, Belarus claimed gold at the Ostchem U20 European Championship Women Division B.
Belarus’ women also had solid showing in Division A by finishing seventh in the U16 category and ninth in the U18 competition.
FIBA Europe, the Ministry of Sport and the Belarus Basketball Federation signed a memorandum of understanding in which FIBA Europe will provide concrete organisational support, while the Ministry of Sport will cooperate by giving promotional and financial assistance for club competitions and the national teams’ programme.
The Belarus Basketball Federation will draft proposals outlining their needs for important FIBA Europe events.
Zanolin toured some of the country’s basketball facilities and came away encouraged about the state of basketball in Belarus.
“This country has made tremendous progress in basketball in the last few years as exemplified by their excellent results in recent months,” he said.
“The commitment that was expressed during my visit gives me greater reason to believe that Belarus can soon be competing at the top of Europe in all categories.”