Grant Free Access to Outdoor Basketball Courts
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- The issue
Although there is a considerable interest in pick-up basketball in Malta, it has become practically inexistent on the island. Furthermore, all the efforts to revive and develop pick-up basketball are just in vain due to the lack of open courts, the difficulties & expenses related if individuals were to even try and book the existing outdoor courts.
- The idea
To mitigate this situation, a good start would be to find an understanding and officially establish for the general public, free access to the basketball Courts in Marsa Sports complex at least the week ends or better; from Friday afternoon till Sunday evening.
- Even better...
Further actions could be to follow Verdala International School's example and during weekends or outside school/working hours, grant free access to outdoor basketball courts in least one school per town.
- The facts
Although Malta has fascinating weather which allows people to practice physical activities outdoors all year long, Almost all outdoor basketball courts are closed behind fences and are not freely accessible by the population.
The entry is either denied, or you may face being expelled by a warden or the police If you manage somehow to access the court and play without an authorization obtained via a club.
This policy has seriously impeded the existence of social basketball/street basketball, as well as its horizontal and vertical development.
- What are we missing
Pick up basketball by its nature is open to all genders, age groups, social classes and levels of the game. Unlike basketball clubs, academies or training camps, there is no prerequisite to join in.
Therefore, there is a chance for everyone to enjoy and even improve irrespectively of the physical abilities, financial or social statuses. And, if there is at least one open outdoor court in each town, there won't even be a distance issue.
Note that organizations or individuals trying to set-up street-ball tournaments, or free training groups struggle and many times have given up. This, because without open outdoor courts, it is hard to find pick up players and without pick up/outdoor players it is impossible to run real outdoor competitions or trainings.
Allowing free access to those courts at least the weekends, will definitely mitigate these issues and with time, create more opportunities for the development of free outdoor physical activities in general and basketball in particular.
- The hope
The good news is that there is no need to build brand new basketball courts: They already exist and many remain unused especially outside school/working hours.
There is a rise in the number of people willing to play basketball socially, improve their skills, or just have active family or friends bonding time playing basketball outside of their school/working hours. Unfortunately, there is no open court where they could just go and do so.
Therefore we hope and call the relevant authorities to grant free access to at least one outdoor basketball court per town starting with the ones in Marsa sports complex.
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