This week — from 22-26 June 2016 — Hyderabad’s Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy Stadium will be home to wheelchair basketball lovers from across India. For the first time, instructors from the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation will train 75 upcoming para athletes, along with 80 coaches, referees and classifiers in India. The technical training camp promises to be memorable because it concludes with the first-ever international wheelchair basketball exhibition match between India and Thailand on 26 June, Sunday.
In India and across the world, sports is empowering for persons with disabilities and brings about a change in the way society perceives them. The ICRC works with persons with disabilities across eleven countries in Asia and has developed wheelchair basketball in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India and the Philippines.
In less than two years, nine state-level wheelchair basketball teams, including two all-women teams, have been developed in India. The training camp in Hyderabad has been organised by WBFI, the ICRC, Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS), Cognizant and has received technical support from two global disability sports organisations — the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the International Paralympic Committee’s AGITOS Foundation.
Experts will conduct training sessions not only for wheelchair basketball players, but also for the technical support staff — coaches, referees and classifiers — in order to create a sustainable eco system for the sport in the country and ensure its continuous development. Participants from 20 states/UTs in India will attend the camp and a coach from Malaysia will also undergo training.
The IWBF instructors who will take sessions in this camp are Maureen Orchard (Canada), Secretary General, IWBF, Norbert Kucera (Germany), Chairman, Technical Commission, IWBF, Toufic Allouche (Lebanon), Classification Officer, IWBF Asia Oceania Zone (IWBF Classification Instructor), and Maurice Hammerton (UK), Development Officer, IWBF, Europe.
Exactly a year from now, the Under-23 Men’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championship is going to be held in Toronto, Canada. Notably, the team from India for the Asia Oceania Zone level qualifiers — to be held in Bangkok in January 2017 — will be selected in Hyderabad.
Follow @ICRC_nd on Twitter for updates.
More about social inclusion through wheelchair basketball: