The main goal of the proposed concept is the encouragement and empowerment of the local community in actively participating in sports activities. Sports became commercialized and the role of supporters diminished. By organizing this 3on3 basketball tournament we aimed to engage the community in sports by organizing and participating on it. Many members of our community had no active engagement with the sport before, although they are fans. Through this tournament, they have the opportunity to be involved in the organization of a sport event through various positions based on their expertise or interest but also to create their own team and compete.

How we built it

The idea of organizing this tournament was started by people who used the basketball court of the park and intended to give to locals the opportunity to compete in an amateur 3-on-3 basketball tournament. During the first implementation, the tournament received much publicity from local media and now people from all parts of the city of Nicosia are coming to participate and compete. The innovation in our model is on engaging the community in the whole process. People from the same community bring their expertise and knowledge in a voluntary initiative and create a sport event. .Our community based model and the toolkit on the involvement of people both in the organization but also in sport activities is considered innovative since people do not just join a sport event, they are joining their own sport event, where the final score is not always the most important goal. The first tournament implementing this concept took place 2 years ago with the participation of 24 teams and over 130 people in total, in a men's’ tournament.

Challenges we ran into

For the first competition we lacked funding and we covered the expenses of the event with our own money. Local community avoid to become part of effort and it treaded us with scepticism because they do not trust us that the revenues would be used for the reconstruction and maintenance of the court and its surroundings. Finally, it was difficult to persuade local authorities to give us permission to use a public court for more than 20 days and organize this event.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The event has been taking place for the past 2 years successfully. Its success has already been demonstrated at local level. The event has become part of the community and, each year, more and more people want to become part of it. Due to the popularity and publicity of the event, many (mostly local) sponsors are now willing to give us sponsorships, to advertise themselves and support the event. This year the participation exceeded 230 people by holding a men's tournament, a women's tournament and a children's tournament (ages 8-12). The official Cyprus Basketball Federation (CBF) and the local municipality (Lakatamia) fully support the effort and there is already interest from other areas of Nicosia to host similar tournaments in their area. CBF has even provided international referees for the games of the final-16 phase

What we learned

Through the years we learn how important to digitize the competition. Through tournifyapp a very useful toll. Any team can register with it, check the schedule, results and standings, the rules of the tournament and many other useful information. Moreover, we improve the promotion of the event through our local Facebook and instagram pages. Program, results, photos and videos are uploaded every day and are becoming very popular. Finally, the fact that the event has grown forced us to digitize the accounting as well using tools such us excel.

What's next for 3on3 community

We strongly believe that we have the capacity and the knowledge/experience to move now to the next step and up-scale it first in Nicosia and then to the whole of Cyprus. It can constitute a great example for the whole of Europe. Our goal is to upscale the concepts, involving all local stakeholders of each neighbourhood (e.g. local authorities, groups of citizens, NGOs, etc.) to give incentives for more people to organize and take part in similar tournaments. Through our participation in the project we aim to record procedures, tasks, hr needs, etc in order to create a tool kit with material, best practices, graphics and cost estimations etc in order to help and encourage other communities to organize similar events.

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