Coach Selvaraja to foster grass root level basketball | Daily News


Coach Selvaraja to foster grass root level basketball

Training on shooting skills

Basketball is becoming a rapidly popularizing sport in Sri Lanka and a well known coach, Sivashakthi Selvaraja, better known as 'Selva' has initiated a grass root level basketball development programme which he hopes to conduct in all parts of the country with the support of world basketball governing body, Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball (FIBA) and the National Olympic Committee in Switzerland.

Commenting about the programme Selvaraja said, "I was nominated by the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka to follow a three-months course in America. It has been a great opportunity for me to participate in this valuable programme where 35 of us, representing different nations of the world were trained under top international trainers. The programme was conducted at the Delaware University with the assistance of US National Olympic Committee. To complete our course each of us must conduct a project in our countries and must submit it to them".

Coach Selvaraja giving instructions to young cager players during the training

"I have named my project as 'Long term grass root level basketball development in Sri Lanka' and focused on three basic skills of the game, dribbling, passing and shooting. I have selected 80 students from top level basketball schools, progressing schools and non basketball playing schools. I conducted training on these three main skills for six days at the St. Joseph's Girls School in Nugegoda. The progress was very impressive. The students were in different levels and in some cases the gap is very wide in between them.

Sivashakthi Selvaraja

I started training from the fundamental level and within a short time period all the students showed a great progress to a very satisfactory level. I will conduct a skill challenge to evaluate them on April 2 at the Police Park courts, commencing from 5.00pm. It will be a workout on dribbling, passing and shooting where individuals evaluated with time". Selvaraja explained.

As my project seems very progressive, I hope to seek support from FIBA and NOC in Switzerland to carry out this programme as an ongoing course through out Sri Lanka which will be a very successful way to bring the sport to outstations.

Selvaraja has an illustrious career as a player and a coach who studied at St. Joseph's College, Nugegoda and Aletheia International, Dehiwala. He played basketball from under-13 to 19 and has captained the school teams. He started his coaching career as the coach of St. Joseph's Girls School, Nugegoda and presently coaching St. Peter's College and Wesley College. Selvaraja was the National Youth coach in 2010, 11 and 12. He is also an academic with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Technology degree from the American College. 

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