Ireland and Finland are the first national federations to receive cash from the new Development Fund programme set-up by FIBA Europe.
All European national federations are encouraged to apply for financial support from FIBA Europe with a focus on projects working towards the development of the game in their country. The projects vary from modernization of the competition and database software to youth performance programmes, referees´ recruitment and training, coaching education and refurbishment and improvement of basketball facilities.
In addition to the Development Fund programme, the Management Group of FIBA Europe overseeing all development initiatives is also investing resources in the administrative structures of the national federations. An ambitious programme of seminars, workshops and clinics has already began with the Seminar for national federations last April in Cyprus and will continue with an even larger event to be held in Munich early next year.
Debbie Massey, the CEO of Basketball Ireland welcomes the initiative:
"We in Basketball Ireland are delighted to have received approval for a development grant from FIBA Europe. We intend to implement a nationwide project to recruit, train and mentor 160 young referees into our sport. This kind of support from our European Governing Body is of huge benefit to us, and it will enable us to do some crucial work in the technical area which we would not have been able to do without this support".
Tommi Lanki, Secretary General of the Finnish Basketball Association adds:
"FIBA Europe has done a tremendous thing for European basketball by establishing a Development fund. From the point of view of a relatively small basketball country, the support by FIBA Europe has given us the extra push on the way to reaching our main objectives."
Nar Zanolin, Secretary General of FIBA Europe is also very excited about the Development programme.
"The role of FIBA Europe is not only to organise competitions and administer events - we are here also to assist the national federations in their growth and development, help them to learn from each other and share positive experience as well as learn from their mistakes. The members of the Management Group leading this programme are fully committed to taking basketball in Europe to the next level."