Šolska košarkarska liga (ŠKL) – School Basketball League is a primary school and high school project, launched in the school year of 1995/1996, under the guidance of a group of experts. It provides year-round, active cooperation of youth in sports and interest activities in Slovenian primary and high schools. Its primary guidance is sports as it is based on competitions in basketball, volleyball, soccer, dodgeball, dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheering. Attending activities, which contribute to the organization and execution as well as media promotion of the performances, are of great importance. The ŠKL project offers many opportunities for cooperation in the biggest youth project in Slovenia as well as opportunities for fun, promotion and advertising.
Main characteristics of the ŠKL project: a competition for the primary and high school ŠKL champion which works under the guidance of school appointed mentors or external mentors from different sports clubs and it is also aided by sports schools (girls are equally included in the competition); a competition for the ŠKL champion in dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheer groups of primary and high schools which works under the guidance of school appointed or external mentors; the ŠKL competitions follow a certain protocol starting with the national anthem and ŠKL anthem followed by a presentation of the participants and the game (played in accordance with basketball rules); the dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheer groups from participating schools perform during the breaks along with a number of other activities such as prize-winning games supported by numerous sponsors; young organizers, referees, secretaries, journalists, photographers, designers, members of video and computing clubs as well as musical clubs all create and compete together, within the project clubs. The project, which encourages regular exercise and work has, in the past 10 seasons, attracted over 100,000 pupils, including the youngest. We not only bring together active basketball players, dancers, cheerleaders, members of different clubs, school musical groups and candidates for the Miss Congeniality contest but also the teachers, mentors, headmasters, parents, relatives, friends, representatives of local communities, numerous sponsors and other supporters. With such a great extent of participants it is not surprising that over 500,000 citizens know and follow the project. Also known athletes such as Boštjan Nachbar, Sani Bečirović, Primož Brezec, Jaka Lakovič and others are ex-ŠKL participants. Today, they can be found in the Basketball Federation of Slovenia leagues as well as in European leagues and the NBA. We are also proud of the numerous successes of the ŠKL dance and cheerleading groups on international competitions. The constituent part of the project, which takes place in the second half of April, is the ŠKL final where the best basketball, volleyball and soccer teams compete for the title of the ŠKL primary school and ŠKL high school champion. The competition for best dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheer groups from both primary and high schools adds extra excitement to the whole event. We not only award the best sports team, dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheer groups from primary and high schools at the award ceremony but also the best school club. We award individuals, mentors and headmasters separately. Over 6,000 people watch the event in the basketball hall and at least another 150,000 watch the live television coverage on Kanal A which transmits two 4 hour sessions.
The following participate in the ŠKL project:
The principal target group presents young people between the ages of 10 and 20 however, individuals participating in the project are also younger (especially in design clubs) and older (mentors, parents, supporters, etc.).
One of the biggest advantages is its uniqueness as it is the only organization in its field in the country and has no real competition. The ramification of the project since it offers the possibilities of playing basketball, volleyball, soccer or dodgeball, performing in dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheering as well as the possibility of taking part in journalism, photography, design, video and computing clubs and other accompanying activities. An advantage of the project is presented by the fact that over 60% of the active participants are girls. Media support of the project including a ŠKL TV and radio show, own monthly newspaper and own web site The presence of all 4 media is nowadays rare in most organizations because it is connected to high expenses. The small size of the country presents an advantage for organizing, leading and coordinating the project on a national level as it is easier to control it. A positive attitude of youth toward sports. The dance, cheerleading and acrobatic cheer performances are very popular among young people. It is attached to the educational structure which forms a practically ideal target population; ŠKL also receives a fraction of the respect which is connected to educational institutions (the ŠKL activity is often seen as inseparable from schools already because of its name). The project is supported by numerous respected sponsors and business partners. Zavod ŠKL Ljubljana collaborates with many respected local and foreign organizations. They collaborate with the Center of Education and Creative Activities (Center za izobraževanje in kreativne dejavnosti) - which is the leading organization in its field in Slovenia, with the Organizational Association of Technical Culture (Zveza organizacij za tehnično kulturo), the Institute and Academy of Multimedia (Inštitut in akademija za multimedije), the Basketball Federation of Slovenia, Cheerleading and Pom Pon Federation of Slovenia, the NBA (National Basketball Association), ECA (European Cheerleading Association), IFC (International Federation of Cheerleading) and in certain projects also with the local communities and ministries.
This year we will also add a more modern stamp to our collection and simultaneously, keep everything that has proved to be wanted and good over the years. Experiences from past seasons are priceless since it is on their base that we were able to prepare a better, more interesting and more exciting program of events. The most important novelties:
The ŠKL project ensures wide media coverage and our presence at schools. Complete media support allows the following: Our own weekly TV show, Šolska košarkarska liga, which airs on POP TV every Sunday and Tuesday at 12:00 and on 15 local TV stations during the week. Within the TV show we assure our business partners:
Our own weekly radio show, aired on local radio stations across Slovenia. It is divided into 2 parts: ŠKL Informator and ŠKL Music. ŠKL Informator reports on all events connected to the ŠKL project whereas ŠKL Music is connected to music and is meant as an addition to the TV show. Within the radio show we assure our business partners:
We prepare 33 radio shows in 1 season, which are aired at least 12 times per week. The show is on program from the end of September to the middle of May. During this period, the show is aired almost 400 times on all radio stations. With this we can surely place it among the most aired youth radio shows in Slovenia. The average audibleness of our business partners within radio time is 4 hours per year. Our own monthly ŠKL newspaper, published in 10,000 copies every month from September to June; 9 issues are published per year. In the newspaper there are articles on:
We are proud to state that the ŠKL newspaper is so popular among young people that they cannot wait for the end of the month when new issues are sent to their schools. We also cooperate with other newspapers that regularly publish reports on our activities and events. Our own web page, visited by approximately 1,000 people daily, that presents the central information center for the ŠKL project. On the web page we:
Within the web page we assure our business partners:
We have transparencies with company logos or brand names in all halls where ŠKL activities take place. That way our business partners are always with us. We also have mascots, prize-winning games and we make sure they are mentioned a few times by our hosts and commentators (depending on the agreement). We assure 8 hours of live TV coverage of our final events on Kanal A. The finals are a big social and sports event that wrap up the season in April.
The ŠKL project is very demanding from the organizational and financial point of view as it is a year-round project, covers all of Slovenia and it includes many sub-projects. The yearly amount of funds needed for the execution of the project is approximately 500,000 EUR. For this reason cooperation with business partners and sponsors is of key importance when it comes to the realization of the ŠKL project. The whole competition is financed by funds from: the general business partners, national business partners, productive business partners, other supporters. Zavod ŠKL Ljubljana finances the organization and activity of the system and events, including costs of the entire media production and over 100 co-workers. One of the characteristics and successes of ŠKL is that it presents participants and competitors in the project with many bonuses and nice awards on events throughout the year. The collective value of these awards and bonuses is around 85,000 EUR. We hand them out on closing events. Individual participants receive around 650 medals and diplomas while schools receive around 30 trophies. The most successful schools and individuals are additionally rewarded with practical awards used for lessons and the development of sport in schools. All participants of the final competition also receive memorable gifts. Numerous sponsors contribute to a better atmosphere on the final events by organizing different award-winning games.