Basketball has its benefits: physical fitness, competitive spirit, social interaction, teamwork, and a sharpening of the mental senses are just some of them. And there's no reason why our favourite sport in the world and its benefits should be limited just to able-bodied individuals. The Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) is looking to bring the joy of the game to disabled individuals this month with wheelchair basketball and boccia workshops across five different cities over the course of two weeks - starting on December 5 - before a national tournament in Chennai on December 20.
The workshops are free of cost and are being conducted by international coaches from around the world, including Mark Walker (Australia), Jess (USA), Mike (Nepal), Manoj Soma (UK) and Aram Voerman (Netherlands). Former Captain of the Indian National Basketball Team and Asian All-Star Jayasankar Menon is also extending his support to the initiative.
The workshops were inaugurated at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi December 5. The Chairman of the ISIC, Maj. HPS Ahluwalia was present at the inauguration and said, “While Wheelchair Basketball is one of the leading international paralympic sports, it is hardly played in our country. We need to promote the sport not only to create professional sportspersons but also for rehabilitating people with disability.”
The workshops will cover various areas on Wheelchair Basketball such as the fundamentals (basic basketball skills with an introduction to the rules of the game), contact, stretching, basic chair skills, ball-handling and passing.
The workshops will be rounded off by a mini-tournament in Chennai on December 20 with the best wheelchair basketball players selected from the workshops competing against each other.
- Delhi: Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) - December 5-10.
- Delhi: Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust - December 8-9.
- Cochin: Mar Athanasius College of Engineering - December 12-13.
- Pune: Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre - December 12-13.
- Bengaluru: Sri Kantaveera Indoor Stadium - December 14-15.
- Chennai: Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium - December 15-23.