Virtual wheelchair basketball championship starts

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The first edition of ‘Virtual Wheelchair Basketball Championship’ was inaugurated in the capital on Friday, marking a new chapter for adaptive sports movement in Nepal.

A year after the completion of “Fit & Healthy No Matter What”, the virtual platform that energized adaptive athletes with a special focus on those with spinal injury during the lockdown imposed due to the first outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, ENGAGE, in coordination with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Nepal, is organizing the first edition of ‘Virtual Wheelchair Basketball Championship’ this year. The initiative constitutes another innovative way to elevate the game of wheelchair basketball while also promoting fitness and psychological wellbeing of all athletes.

Addressing the virtual launching ceremony, Sandesh Shrestha, the head of ICRC Mission, said that the ICRC has witnessed a progressive journey of wheelchair basketball over the years in Nepal where the players from various clubs have engaged in friendly and formal matches and learning sessions. “This year as well, the ICRC has been providing online wheelchair basketball training by an international Paralympics level Coach, to all those who have shown interest,” he said.

“Worldwide as well, we can see that countries like the US and Canada have conducted sports events virtually and the pandemic did not stop them from engaging in sports,” he said.

To be conducted over two and half months, the ‘Virtual Wheelchair Basketball Championship’ will consist of competitive contests under three categories with each contest assigning scores to the best performances.

“It’s a very innovative way to engage and involve all the wheelchair basketball athletes and we really need such a championship” said Himal Aryal, the Coach of Tribhuwan Army Club’s wheelchair basketball team.

Under each category, members of the teams will be online to undertake technical drills and exercises while they will also have to prove their expertise in the regulations and strategy of the game, in addition to expressing their creativity and personalities through special videos.

The Virtual Wheelchair Basketball Championship is part of the continued commitment of ICRC in Nepal to promote opportunities for persons living with disabilities.