Kurdistan Basketball league kicks off
Only four teams in this season’s Kurdistan Basketball league
This season’s Kurdistan Women’s Basketball League has seen a big reduction in the number of participating teams. This is despite the level of women’s basketball having risen to an unprecedented level in recent years.
The increased number of women players in former years played a significant role in the establishment of several strong teams. Many clubs formed female basketball teams. Unfortunately, it looks as though the situation has gone into reverse this year, as the number of female basketball players decreases along with the number of female teams.
From six teams last year, only four teams will be contesting the local league this year.
The reduction can be attributed to many reasons. According to Dler Ahmad, a member of the Kurdistan Basketball Association (KBA), most clubs now completely ignore basketball, as they pay more attentions to football.
“The clubs’ management boards have no love for basketball anymore; the only game they think about is football,” said Ahmad
When asked why the clubs ignore the game, Ahmad answered “Participating in leagues and competitions needs money and the clubs claim they haven’t got enough money to cover the teams’ costs.”
Clubs in the Kurdistan Region are partly funded by the KRG through the Ministry of Youth and Culture. The budget allocated to the clubs is supposed to be spent equally on all teams. However, many clubs use their budget for promoting football teams at the expense of volleyball and basketball.
This year’s Kurdistan basketball league kicked off on September 25 and the participating teams include last year’s champions, Sanharib, Akad, Sulaimaniya and New Sirwan.
Two matches ran in the first week of the league, with the Akad girls emerging victorious against Sulaimaniya, 61-41.
In the second match, which was held in Sulaimaniya city, New Sirwan defeated Sanharib 62-52.
After the match, New Sirwan team coach, Rizgar Rauf, said “In 2009, we lost to Sanharib by 60 points. At that time we had several young players and people were making fun of their level, but now the young players have grown and are playing wonderfully. Defeating Sanharib means a lot, since Sanharib were last year’s champions.”
Rauf hoped his team will continue to perform well and achieve their dream: winning the Kurdistan league title.
Based in the Gry Basy quarter of Duhok, Sanharib sports club was founded in 1992. The club has several teams, but basketball is their strongest.
The managerial board of the club is made up of 8 members with 6 teams for men and 8 for women.
This Picture depicts New Sirwan women Basketball team.