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Volunteers drive basketball association

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PBA President Manny Aranez and Old Kildonan councillor Devi Sharma with the proud and happy champions from the PBA Tykes division, Winnipeg Spirit Grey.

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PBA President Manny Aranez and Old Kildonan councillor Devi Sharma with the proud and happy champions from the PBA Tykes division, Winnipeg Spirit Grey. Photo Store

I had the opportunity to watch championship games played by the Tykes division of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) last month at Garden City Collegiate.  

It was great to see young people enjoying themselves. The Tykes division was created three years ago due to the high demand of young children wanting to learn and improve their basketball skills.

The Philippine Basketball Association was founded in October 2001 and has continued to grow in participation with both players and volunteers. The volunteers who include board members, coaches, and game-time volunteers provide amazing opportunities. I commend Manny Aranez, president of PBA, and all of the volunteers for their dedication and hard work to make the league successful.

I am a firm believer in living a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. For children to have the opportunity to develop teamwork and sportsmanship skills while being physically active is a great step forward in leading a healthy lifestyle. All physical activity, whether it is on a competitive, recreation, or leisurely level, is important.

The Philippine Basketball Association is recruiting for its Bantam Girls team. The Bantam team is for teenagers and will be a great opportunity for young women to build their self-esteem. Playing sports builds confidence by teaching how to improve their personal best. Also, exercise has been said to improve memory and concentration, so youth who play sports can have an advantage academically.

The PBA consists of youth and adult teams. Many players, past and present, have been able to transfer their skills while playing basketball for PBA into their academic endeavours. Many players play for the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Red River College, Canadian Mennonite University, and Lakeland College in Alberta.

The divisions within the PBA pride themselves on being back-to-back champions. Players are given the opportunity to compete on local, regional, and national levels. This September, members from the PBA will travel to Windsor, Ont. for the Inter-City Basketball Tournament hosted by the Filipino Basketball Association of North America. I am sure that it will be quite the experience for all involved to take part in such a large-scale tournament.

It was wonderful to see that the stands were full with family and community members cheering the players on at the championship games. The support from the fans and the dedication from the volunteers, combined with the players drive encompasses everything needed for success.

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