Training camp in wheelchair basketball gets under way

Sports connects well with society and hence it is important to use sports to show to society that the differently abled can do,said Jaspal Rane, director of London-based Choice International and wheel-chair basketball coach.

“Sports gives many benefits like developing skills, confidence, attitude and a belief in the system. We promote basketball (for the physically challenged) to promote their inclusion in society. We are using sports as a tool,” Rane told The Hindu as he was pushing his wheelchair towards the basketball court at the Police Stadium here on Friday morning to start imparting coaching to eight youngsters, including a girl, bound to the wheelchairs. The Ability People (TAP), a local organisation working for welfare and empowerment of differently-abled people, is organising a six-day training programme.

“As an NGO we don't think charity alone will help. We use sports to change the attitude and reminded how Nelson Mandela used sports-rugby-to bring the blacks and whites together.”

On how he is going to train his players, Rane, who plays wheelchair basketball in the UK, said first he would make the players to get the experience of handling the wheelchairs. Training in skills and explaining some exercises to use the wheelchair, telling them about team work were some of the points he would concentrate on during his stay here. Care International would leave enough knowledge and experience to impart training to others in future, he said.

Real boost

Commissioner of Police B. Shivadhar Reddy, who inaugurated the coaching programme, felt that programmes like this would change the mindset of people while the differently-abled would receive a real boost to their confidence and get lot of motivation.

Convener of TAP Dilip Patro said physically challenged should forget about their handicappedness and stop believing that they have no life. He thanked the Commissioner of Police and the District Basketball Association for supporting the programme. The basketball court at the Police Stadium was allotted to TAP during morning for one year for practice.

President of DBA T.S.R. Prasad said the DBA provided balls and players to assist the coaching programme. TAP's request for space in Andhra University gymnasium for providing coaching in wheelchair table tennis and at CMR Central for exhibiting skills in wheelchair will be considered, he said.

CEO of Choice International Manoj Soma, member of TAP Himachal Rao, K. Swarna Kumari of Mahila Action, and U.S. Sarma of HPCL, Visakh Refinery spoke. About 20 boys and girls of BVK College extended help as volunteers.

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