Thursday, June 5, 2014

NBA and Dutch Lady Malaysia partner in basketball programme for juniors

THE NBA’s international youth development programme, Jr. NBA, was recently launched in Malaysia for the first time with Dutch Lady Malaysia as presenting partner.

The Malaysia tip-off is part of the multiyear regional partnership agreement between the NBA and FrieslandCampina, the parent company of Dutch Lady Malaysia and one of the largest dairy companies in the world.

Jr. NBA has been staged in the Philippines for seven consecutive years as part of the ongoing partnership between the NBA and FrieslandCampina through its Alaska brand.

To-date, more than 80,000 students, parents, and coaches have participated in camps, clinics and NBA Cares activities.

Participants are trained in the fundamentals of basketball and learn the importance of the Jr. NBA core values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect (S.T.A.R.).

“Jr. NBA aims to improve the health of children through basketball, and to instil key values that prepare our participants for life off the court,” said NBA Asia vice- president for global marketing partnerships Francesco Suarez.

“Together with Dutch Lady Malaysia, the NBA will bring the fun of basketball through our flagship youth development programme to boys and girls in this country.”

Inspired by the need to work towards improving the nutritional status of children in South-East Asia, the partnership with Jr. NBA is part of the ‘Drink.Move.Be Strong’ campaign, which aims to bridge critical nutrition gaps identified by the South-East Asian Nutrition Surveys (Seanuts), a nutritional study initiated in 2009.

Seanuts’ findings indicated one in five Malaysian children are overweight or obese, while school age children report low physical activity; and half the children studied have Vitamin D insufficiency.

“These insights implicate parents, schools, healthcare professionals, policymakers and even the private sector, all of whom need to play proactive roles in educating and getting Malaysian children to be healthier with the right nutrition and more physical activities,” said Dutch Lady Malaysia managing director Rahul Colaco.

“As such, through the Jr. NBA programme and Drink.Move.Be Strong — the campaign that anchors our World Milk Day 2014 celebration — Dutch Lady Malaysia hopes to harness the power of nutrition and basketball to enable Malaysian children to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle.”

Welcoming the Jr. NBA programme to school children in Malaysia, Education Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, said the ministry was very pleased to have Dutch Lady Malaysia collaborating with the MoE to promote the 1Student 1Sport policy.

“We believe schoolchildren will benefit tremendously from the Jr.NBA programme.

“With this structured plan in place, we hope more children will take up and enjoy basketball,” he said.

In addition to Dutch Lady Malaysia, the event is supported by the Education Ministry, Spalding and Westports Malaysia Dragons while Astro is the official NBA broadcaster.

Registration for the selection camp in August is currently ongoing through the official event website at www.jrnba.asia/Malaysia.

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