Last Updated on 1st July 2022
Maham Warraich, Belize
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belize is very fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete a successful 7th season of the Ahmadiyya Basketball League. This league began with the goal to help the youth occupy their time productively and provide a platform to showcase their talents.
In a matter of just seven years, a league which had humble beginnings is now a league which caters to 49 teams and a total of 600 youngsters, thus making the Ahmadiyya Basketball League the biggest basketball league in the country.
This league provides ways to not only showcase the talent of the youth on the court but also off the court. It also serves for creating jobs and teaching new skills which promote professional development.
Many dignitaries and ministers of Belize regularly attend and support the teams.
Mayor Orange Walk Town said:
“People are not seeing the picture of what Ahmadiyya is doing. You are taking young kids out of the dark hole and putting them in the light, giving them a chance to shine where they would never have shined and allowing them to show their talent. That is what Ahmadiyya is doing.”
Amir Sahib Canada, said:
“Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Belize is doing wonderful work by serving the community they are in and they are giving the youth something good to do and are taking them away from other negative activities.”
To promote good work within the community of Belize, the Ahmadiyya Basketball League made it a requirement for every team to complete community service. This encouraged a lot of the youth to step out of their comfort zones and help those who are less fortunate. Many teams came up with innovative and creative ideas to complete this task.
This season featured many new additions, mainly a new programme that was launched by the name of ‘BZ got game’; a show highlighting the youth of Belize to the corners of Belize.
As teams come from far and wide with very limited resources, at times it becomes difficult to arrange modes of transportation for them. To attend the Ahmadiyya Basketball League teams raise funds through local sponsorships, dollar drives and community support programmes to ensure arrival on game day.
With a team coming from San Pedro, we now also have a team which flies in regularly for their games. Throughout the duration of the league, games are also played in different venues across different districts so that local teams can raise funds along with allowing teams to play in front of their home crowds.
Through the midst of the season, the Ahmadiyya Basketball League held an All-Star weekend, which brought out the best talent of Belize. This was highlighted through a skills challenge, a three-point competition, and a dunking competition followed by the main event of the divisional All-Star games. In this manner, all of the top talented youth were able to showcase their talent.
The season came to a close with the all-division final games which brought out many members of the community, including Deputy Prime Minister, Cordel Hyde, Jacob Leslie, President of the Basketball Federation in Belize, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Naveed Mangla Sahib and commissioner of the ABL who distributed the prizes and awarded all of the champions.