Wheel-Chaired Basketball Players Receive Boost Under All Ability Sports Project
The Rescue Sports Foundation, in partnership with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), has embarked on the distribution of wheelchairs used for playing basketball across Ghana, to help strengthen the sport.
The ‘All Ability Sports Project’ has the goal of increasing sporting opportunities for persons with disability for their positive social engagement.
Major interventions are targeted at persons with mobility challenges, the visually-impaired and those with hearing impairment.
The disability sports initiative is delivering 100 locally-fabricated basketball wheelchairs, at an estimated cost of GH¢166,100 to members.
“The project will benefit mostly the various wheelchair basketball teams across the country; taking into consideration, both male and female teams,” Coach Benjamin Annor said.
The targeted beneficiaries are expected to access the wheelchairs by the end of May, 2022.
“This news actually raised their hope and trust for all ability sports project; and believe the project can do more for them to enable them achieve their dreams as sports men and women with disabilities,” Benjamin added.
Unsafe conditions for goalball
The condition of the wheelchair basketball court and the court used for the goalball is however bad.
Goalball is played exclusively by athletes who are blind or vision impaired.
The game is played by two teams who compete to score goals by throwing a ball that emits audible sound when in motion.
According to Benjamin, “goalball for the blind is supposed to be played indoors but they have been playing outside on a wrong court.”
The court also lacks a woolen carpet to prevent injuries and players do not have elbow and knee cap protectors.
The hearing-impaired also complain about lack of special training grounds.
“Members’ interest has dwindled because they always have to wait for some abled teams to finish their training before they take their turn.”
The wheelchair basketball players also play on an old court that has a lot of potholes, with thorn nets.
They do not have much basketball wheelchairs to train so they are unable to train with a full set of teams.
All the three categories complained of lack of balls and transportation support to and from training.
“They also have challenges with the use of some kits and logistics whenever they meet their counterparts from other countries during friendly matches and others; this is due to the fact that they have not been using such kits and logistics at their training sessions,” Benjamin Annor observed.
He is taking steps to lobby for some balls and jerseys to ease the stress of the teams.
The All Ability Sports Project seeks to create an avenue where “we could have one common business in each region that can generate some income weekly, so as to use the proceeds to support the cost of transport to and from training. Such a project will be run by the disabled persons themselves.”
The group, therefore appealed for sponsorship to provide kits and logistics for the various disciplines to help them meet international standards.