The success of Indians at the Paralympics 2016 has opened new avenues for the specially-abled community in the world of sports. So come July and the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team will represent the country in the 4th Bali Cup International Tournament.
While the women’s team is looking forward to representing the country at the world stage, it is the Australian consulate which has stepped in to sponsor the girls’ team as the players were struggling to generate funds.
“Never has India been represented in team games, so we are trying our level best to take our team to Paralympics level, i.e. the Wheelchair basketball team, but there are so many challenges because it is not an individual game. We need equipment like special wheelchairs which are not available in India and we need to import them,” said Madhavi Latha, president of the Wheelchair Basketball Federation Of India as reported by NDTV.
The women’s team has also got a trainer from Australia. Bradley John Ness, who captained the Australian wheelchair basketball team that won a silver medal in the London Paralympics, is training the Indian women.
“They don’t have a gym, don’t have enough wheelchairs but the fact that they are still here and still playing basketball and it shows me how much courage and determination they have to represent India,” says Bradley.
It was Deepa Malik, who brought in a paradigm shift for disabled sportspersons in the country, after winning a silver medal in shot put in the Paralympics last year. She is a great example of hope and dedication. It is of utmost importance that the state also invests in such passionate players.
Picture credit- Atimanarj