The Next Generation Athletics and Basketball Academy (NGABA) continues to attract young enthusiastic players, says organizer and coach Zahir Motara.
Motara said they realized since moving to the Kensington Bond on Fontabelle, St Michael that the interest continued to grow and he was pleased to see the numbers increase from five to 60 since the academy’s inception last year.
“We enjoy it more because we don’t have to be in the sun, but the kids more so because you could see more work being put in because the sun is not on them. The kids are having a lot of fun since we are inside and the more facilities like this we get to work on the better basketball is going to get because people put in time doing stuff and not having to worry about the heat,” Motara explained.
A total of 35 children took part in this year’s camp and the parents responded so well that Motara extended it for another week with only one more day remaining as the camp is scheduled to finish tomorrow.
Motara who is ably assisted by Tehron King and Kelan Phillips said they have also taken steps to afford young players an opportunity to play the sport.
“We have expanded the age groups. We have gone a little younger from six years old to sixteen for the camp but our programme runs for all ages because the interest has been shown. Summer camps tend to limit it to kids only but in terms of my programme we have kids from different age groups up to adults. We focus on skills throughout all age groups so we have a building system that when you move out of one age group you can move into another one,” he said.
The much-anticipated under-12 competition will take place in December but for the first time this year Next Generation will host an under-23 championship around Independence which Motara said would give players an opportunity to showcase their skills and get much needed exposure.
“The Barbados Amateur Basketball Association already has an under-16 and under-19 tournament so we are trying now to gear towards the other guys who are a little too old for that and who are scholarship eligible. So we are planning to make the tournament big and exciting and hopefully give the kids exposure by putting the videos on YouTube so that the coaches abroad will be able to see them,” he said.
Sponsorship for the academy has been good with Burger King, Bliss Water Sport, Chef Craig, Gatorade, Fusionz Boutique and Smalta coming on board to make the camp a success.