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FIBA welcomes Timor-Leste to Oceania family

SURFERS PARADISE, April 5, 2016 - The Federacao Nacional De Basquetebol Timor-Leste (FNBTL) is the most recent national federation to join the Oceania region of FIBA. As part of their welcome to the Oceania region, FNBTL President Carlos Jeronimo and Secretary General Isildo Thilman attended the biannual FIBA in Oceania congress on 18-20th March 2016 at the Mantra Legends Hotel, Surfers Paradise.

FIBA funds a delegate from each of the National Basketball Federations of Oceania to attend the congress every two years. However, this year the Australian Government funded Asia Sports Partnership (ASP) program made it possible for Timor-Leste to send a second delegate to Australia for the event.

The ASP program funds FNBTL's "Mum's a Hero" program which is designed to encourage more females to participate in basketball activities and live healthier lifestyles. The program is aimed at mothers in communities who can have an impact on the habits of their families. The program also gave FIBA the opportunity to visit Timor-Leste in February to assist the development of the federation and launch the "Mum's a Hero" program.

The FIBA in Oceania congress provided Jeronimo and Thilman the opportunity to meet representatives from the other Oceania federations and gain a better understanding of the direction and vision FIBA has for countries in this region. It also provided them with an opportunity to meet with representatives from National Basketball Federations who are active in basketball for social development through the Australian Government funded Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP). They were able to compare notes and see how effective programs like ASP and PSP can be in increasing basketball participation and contributing to social change.

During the congress, delegates from Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia also came together to discuss how they can implement sub-zone qualification tournaments. These meetings were extremely productive with each region agreeing upon dates, hosts and names for the competitions in each region.

This sub-zone tournament gives the FNBTL a goal to strive towards. Jeronimo and Thilman were very excited to get back and continue to develop Timor-Leste Basketball to the point where they are consistently competitive in their region.

FIBA in Oceania were thrilled that they were able to bring two delegates from Timor-Leste to Australia.

Itís fantastic that through the ASP program we had the opportunity to bring a second delegate to the Oceania congress. Being able to expose both Carlos [Jeronimo] and Isildo [Thilman] to the work we are doing in the region was outstanding. It was also great to see them forming relationships with other federations from this region. - Crocker

Jeronimo and Thilman were tremendously thankful for this opportunity.

The FNBTL is extremely grateful to FIBA in Oceania and the Asia Sports Partnership program for making this visit possible. It was a very worthwhile experience and is going to be immensely helpful to the development of Basketball in Timor-Leste. We have learnt so much in such a short time and cannot wait to share our new found knowledge. - Thilman

FIBA is proud to welcome Timor-Leste to the Oceania family.

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