V4 Olympic Hopes Tournament 2022 is a basketball tournament for Under-16 boys and girls from all V4 countries. We would not focus only on basketball tournament, but during the tournament the players will attend workshops and seminars about Match-Fixing, Anti-Doping and Nutrition. Match-fixing is right now considered by FIBA (Internationall basketball federation )one of the biggest threats to integrity of sport. For coaches we will organize a coaching clinic and also referee seminar will be part of the project.
This project focuses on Youth sports, mainly on Under 16 age group. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and various restrictions, the youth sports took a huge hit. Kids were unable to practice and play games, and many of them just finished playing basketball and sports altogether. With this tournament we would like to show and popularize sport of basketball and show its beauty. Aside from the tournament the part of the project will be educational. Constant education of referees and basketball coaches is a must in order to thrive in this ever evolving environment of competitive sports. Many educational seminars were online during Covid-19 pandemic, but nothing beats in person education. There will also be workshop for players regarding healthy lifestyle and anti match-fixing. Particularly match-fixing in basketball is a growing concern, and with education we would like to tackle the problem when the players are young, rather than when they become professionals and might get into some serious trouble.
The Olympic Hopes will bring together the most talented players and coaches of all the V4 countries. To start the education of players on healthy lifestyle, anti match-fixing at this age, is very important. Currently there is no sustainable project in place, to educate young basketball players and coaches on dangers of match-fixing and even to explain what are all the types of match-fixing. Regarding the healthy lifestyle there is many information out there, but there needs to be a specific information given to young basketball players based on their exact needs, because they are not general public. And later, even if they do not continue as professional basketball players, they will have a base to lead healthy and active life, and maybe even help spread the awareness.
The education of young basketball players, and even coached in matters related to basketball, but not exactly basketball, is very neglected in our region. To start with under-16 national team players is the best Idea, because they are old enough to capture the essence of the education and influence other teammates in their respective clubs and spread the awareness also this way.
All of the basketball federations will get great competition for their respective girls and boys teams. The coaches and referees will have a good look at the top youth competition.
Slovak basketball association has previously organized many basketball tournaments, most recently U18 Mens Youth Challenger and U16 Womens Youth Challenger in 2021. We have organized similar V4 basketball tournament in 2019, but with less educational value, because there was none to little external funding available at that time.