New partnership between World YMCA and FIBA Foundation is a slam dunk

Date: 07 December 2022

Partnering to make a difference for young people and communities through the power of basketball.

The World YMCA, the oldest and one of the largest youth organisations in the world, and the FIBA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), have announced an agreement to officially join forces. Based on the two organisations’ common cultural heritage of basketball, the World YMCA and the FIBA Foundation will collaborate on programs to empower young people to initiate positive change in their communities.

“This is such a natural partnership because our organisations are aligned in so many ways”, said Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General of the World YMCA. “We are both committed to empowering young people, and of course, we share the heritage of basketball”.

Dr. R. William Jones, first Secretary General of FIBA, first on the right, is shown on a YMCA team in Torino in 1927.

Basketball began at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA over 130 years ago. In 1891, Physical Education teacher James Naismith was challenged to come up with an indoor winter game. He hung two peach baskets about 10 feet off the ground – and the rest is history.

Andreas Zagklis, Secretary General of FIBA, said, “We have seen how basketball has the power to bring people together, particularly young people, to feel happier and empowered. By partnering with the YMCA, we can reach more young people in communities across the world.”


Partnership up close

The initial collaboration will focus on two areas: the shared cultural heritage and developing a youth empowerment program through leveraging the power of basketball and interactive curricula on sustainable development themes, leadership, mentorship, and design thinking to empower young people to initiate a positive change within their communities.

The FIBA Foundation was founded in 2008 by the International Basketball Federation and addresses the role of sports, particularly basketball, in a variety of programmes for young people.

The FIBA Foundation’s Basketball For Good program uses the power of basketball to empower young people to initiate positive changes in their communities and is a perfect fit with YMCA’s youth leadership and youth-led solutions approaches and extensive basketball programs.

The FIBA Foundation and the YMCA shared the cultural heritage of basketball.

Over the next few months, the two organisations will work together to:

  • Explore opportunities to partner with like-minded organizations to contribute knowledge, expertise, resources and visibility.
  • Begin digitizing basketball-related historical memorabilia to create an online archive, thereby preserving basketball’s cultural heritage and values.
  • Activate grassroots basketball and youth-led solutions by strengthening the relationship between YMCA National bodies and National Basketball Federations.

As a first step in the collaboration, FIBA Secretary General Zagklis is attending the ‘90 Years of FIBA’ celebration on 16 December 2022 at the YMCA Thessaloniki Museum in Greece. The YMCA Thessaloniki is the site of the first basketball game in Greece more than 100 years ago and the Hellenic Basketball Federation is one of the eight founding members of FIBA.

Look for ongoing updates on social media.


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