India played its first-ever international wheelchair basketball exhibition match — against Thailand — on 26 June 2016 in Hyderabad, India. While India lost to Thailand 28-84, this was a historic day and a spectacular development for the game of wheelchair basketball in the country.
As an experienced side which has won many laurels in international tournaments, the Thailand team surprised nobody with their display of brilliant technique and remarkable proficiency. For the hundreds of spectators who came out to watch the game on a Sunday, it was a thrilling experience as India put up a tough fight from the start. The home side won everyone’s hearts by showing resilience in the face of a formidable opposition.
In less than two years, nine state-level wheelchair basketball teams, including two all-women teams, have been developed by the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) with the ICRC’s support. WBFI is now preparing for next year’s Asia Oceania Zone level qualifiers. Across the world, the ICRC works with persons with disabilities for whom sports is empowering and brings about a change in the way they are perceived.
Read more about the training that preceded the international match: