Basketball executives from 33 European countries attended the Second Seminar for National Federations organised by FIBA Europe in Freising, Germany last weekend.
The seminar, which ran in conjunction with the Secretaries Generals meeting, is part of FIBA Europe´s development programme focused on a number of projects which aim to assist the national federations in reaching their full potential.
"This project is about making FIBA Europe and all the national federations stronger as organizations and in doing so making our sport stronger," said FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
"Getting together, sharing ideas and thoughts on different issues and learning from each other is a great way to do that."
|Participants like Kenneth Lindholm of Finland were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts.|
The highlight of the seminar was the presentation of Mindaugas Balčiūnas from Lithuania, who gave a detailed account of the structure of youth basketball in his country, including schools basketball, academies, clubs and national teams.
Mr. Balčiūnas also highlited the importance of coaching education in Lithuania and the role of the national federation in developing not just good players, but also coaches and coach supporting programmes.
"It was very useful information, especially on the organisation part of it." commented Emilios Theodosiou, Secretary General of the Basketball Federation of Cyprus.
"Obviously the job done in Lithuania is at high standards and the results prove it."
Jakub Kalinowski, a manager at the Sports Project Management Group in Poland was also on hand to speak to the participants about the availability of funding through the EU and other similar organisations, and the step-by-step process involved in applying for it.
He gave the example of the "Sportsmen on the Labour Market" project which had a budget of nearly 2 million euro and was realised by the Consortium of Polish Sports Associations in an effort to provide opportunities for players at the end of their sports career to re-train and find new jobs.
Professor Bjarne Ibsen from Denmark engaged the participants with an interesting presentation on sports volunteering and details on his research on the growth of volunteering across different European countries.
Finally, FIBA's Head of Technology, Wolfram Klug introduced the new FIBA Digital Software and Online Services, which provides not only the opportunity for federations to improve communication with their clubs and other members, but also to deal with player registrations and transfers online.