Walking Basketball is the talk of the town – featuring on Channel Ten with a viral video promoting this new version of the traditional game.
With more than 32 thousand views and a reach that has a spread around the globe, Basketball Victoria’s project is attracting new participants and bringing people back to a sport that is played across the nation.
Walking Basketball aims to get more people who are inactive, or less active than they want to be, up and moving. Walking Basketball is, as the name suggests, basketball played at walking pace.
Albert Osei-Tutu, Development Officer for Basketball Victoria, attributes the viral success of the video to the heart warming content, and noted that its format is relatable and something that anyone could try, making it attractive to a wide audience.
The program is being run in various locations across Victoria and the initial target for generally getting people active has expanded to include seniors who have embraced a new opportunity for participation in a sport they, and their families, can relate to.
Basketball Victoria has partnered with a Knox City Council seniors group to encourage their attendance, hosting their oldest competitor yet, a 93 year old – she commented that the program was “Great fun, gave me more energy to move and I love socialising among happy people. I think having a sense of humour is important and Walking Basketball brings it out of all of us”.
This older group of participants turned out to be fiercely competitive. They started the program with a familiarisation of ball handling skills and basic movements before progress to the game format, which allowed for them to transition into the play more easily.
The program also targeted the Bendigo area based on data mapped from the Heart Foundation and in line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that show less than one third of Australians get enough exercise to benefit their health. The game is an informal opportunity to participate in a team sport for those people that might otherwise be intimidated by the pace and impact of customary basketball.
Basketball Victoria’s newest players in Bendigo said that some people organised teams, while others just turned up to join a group and form a team. Substitutions are allowed on and off the court at any time and no official score is kept, with the players commenting that reducing the competitive aspect of the game format was appealing.
For more information on Walking Basketball, visit the Basketball Victoria website.
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