Sports including 3x3 basketball were played at the Belau Youth Sports Festival ©PNOC

The Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) has held a youth sports festival to encourage the return of physical activity and celebrate Olympic Day.

The biennial Belau Youth Games, due to be held in June, had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, so the the Belau Youth Sports Festival was instead staged in late July by the PNOC.

It included athletics, 3x3 basketball, football, softball, swimming, volleyball, tennis, table tennis and wrestling.

Participants aged six to 19 were split into five teams, each one representing one of the Olympic rings.

The Palau Basketball Federation (PBF) assisted in running 3x3 basketball activities.

"PNOC still wanted to conduct a multi-sport event for the youth of Palau that has been stuck at home, social distancing, for a few months," PBF secretary general Jubilee Kuartei said.

Some of the participants of the basketball camp with coaches ©PNOC
Some of the participants of the basketball camp with coaches ©PNOC

"Because it's a festival, kids are encouraged to try other sports.

"Sports organisers have also been encouraged to modify competition and rules for younger age groups and to fit competition into a shorter period, so we decided to introduce 3x3 as the basketball event in the festival."

It featured three age divisions; nine to 12, 13 to 15 and 16 to 19.

Before the Sports Festival, the PBF organised a three-week youth basketball leadership camp in preparation for the event.

"We designed a basketball youth camp for three weeks that was accompanied by a leadership workshop during the sessions," added Kuartei.

"We educated the participants about character values and emphasised on having integrity, discipline and good attitude in becoming leaders."

The Youth Sports Festival ran from July 17 to 25, with 3x3 basketball played in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Elementary Basketball Gym in Koror.

Team Yellow were overall the champions.