They come from various regions of the country and, until Sunday, April 8, they make Albufeira «even younger, alive and dynamic», in the opinion of José Carlos Rolo, Mayor. The Youth Basketball Party starts today, April 4th, and will gather around 1400 athletes to compete in a total of 198 games, in six pavilions in the municipality.
But, even before the ball started to enter the basket, there was the right to an opening ceremony, at Praça dos Pescadores, one of the ex libris from Albufeira. The young players paraded, with equipment and even flags from the various districts, showing themselves to the public.
In this edition, regional selections of men's and women's under-14 and under-16 teams participate.
The games, with free entry (limited to the capacity of the pavilions), take place at the Albufeira Municipal Pavilion, Albufeira Basic and Secondary School Sports Pavilion, Albufeira Secondary School Sports Pavilion, Francisco Neves Pavilion, EB 2,3 Francisco Pavilion Cabrita and Olhos de Água Pavilion. The finals are scheduled for Sunday morning, the day on which the “All-Star Game” takes place.
In the end, only one team at each level will win, but the event wants to be much more than a mere sporting competition.
«This party is the best answer to people who often speak and do harm to sport», defended José Carlos Lima, coordinator of the National Plan for Ethics in Sports, present at the ceremony.
Albufeira has been hosting this party for six years now, but José Carlos Rolo guaranteed that the city is «always with its doors open to organize more and more parties of this type».
«We cannot win everything, but a victory is already there: we are all here and in full harmony and harmony», summarized the mayor.
Manuel Fernandes, president of the Portuguese Basketball Federation, also did not miss the opening ceremony and showed his great enthusiasm. “We are happy to celebrate what everyone says is the biggest federated youth sporting event in the country. We are proud of the boldness, boldness and competence of those who want to organize a competition with this grandeur”, he said, in front of the many applauses of the young players.
And as the intention is to “innovate in every edition”, this year there will be, for example, an award for the best cheering squad and also for the referee with the best attitude. One of the central themes of the party will also be the "search for good behavior and values that affirm and value basketball": in other words, the much-acclaimed fair play.
All games will have official statistics and will be broadcast by live streaming. The Party also has a solidary aspect. This year, each participant will contribute 2 euros, double the initial amount, and it is planned to raise around 2800 euros for the Parish Center of Paderne.