WBFI is a registered society based in Chennai with an intent to promote the sport of Wheelchair Basketball (WCB) in India. Affiliated to International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), WBFI’s vision is to enable extensive participation and following for wheelchair basketball as a means to empower persons with disabilities (PWDs) and also to change the societal perception of PwDs. WBFI actively advocates and supports players’ grassroots organization and coordinates with the government and other stakeholders with the aim of developing a string contingent of wheelchair basketball players across States. In less than 2 years, WBFI has been able to develop nine State level teams including two all-women teams.
Sports has always acted as a catalyst for change – a two pronged approach where an athlete with disability taps into his/her residual capacity motivating them to be an active member of society and simultaneously when athlete actively participates in society, the society’s perception of disability changes focussing more on “abilities” as opposed to “disability”.
WBFI organised the biggest, first-of-its-kind National Technical Camp at KVBR Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana State, India from 22-26 June 2016 in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS) and Cognizant. On the technical side, WBFI partnered with two global disability sports organizations – the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the International Paralympic Committee’s AGITOS Foundation. Through the support of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and Eklavyas, the awareness of the technical camp was spread among the Indian basketball society and consequently, a good response for coaches and referees courses was received. Commendable support was extended by Mr G Nagasumanth, Secunderabad, Telangana and Dr Harish S Krishna, Principal, Sri Anjaneya College of Para Medical Sciences, Malabar Medical College, Calicut, Kerala in identifying participants for classification course.
The camp brought four international experts from across the world to Hyderabad to train our wheelchair basketball players. Furthermore, the experts also trained the technical pool of coaches, referees and classifiers to help WBFI in creating a sustainable eco system for the sport and ensure continuous development of the sport.
This is the first of programme of its kind offered by the IWBF through their “Introduction to Wheelchair Basketball for Developing NOWBS” Project. We feel proud to inform you that India is the first country to have been selected by IWBF for implementing this project.
Mr B Venkatesham, IAS, Secretary to Government of Telangana Youth Advancement, Tourism & Culture Department graced the Inauguration function as Chief Guest, Mr A Dinkar Babu, IAS, VC & MD, Sports Authority of Telangana State, Ms Maureen Orchard (Canada), Secretary General, IWBF, Mr Norbert Kucera (Germany), Chairman, Technical Commission, IWBF, Mr Toufic Allouche
(Lebanon), Classification Officer, IWBF Asia
Oceania Zone (IWBF Classification Instructor), Mr Maurice Hammerton (UK), Development Officer, IWBF, Europe and Ms Angel Singha from ICRC as Guests of Honour for the Opening Ceremony.
After the inauguration function, we organized a panel discussion on ‘Roadmap on how to promote
Wheelchair Basketball sport discipline in a professional and scientific manner in India’, which was moderated by Ms Maureen Orchard, Secretary General, IWBF. Minutes of this discussion is attached to this report.
The technical camp was split into four courses namely, Classifiers, Coaches, Referees and Athletes which took place
over the five days. The Officiating Module was led by Mr Norbert Kucera (Germany), Chairman of Technical Commission, IWBF. There were 16 participants from nine states/UT of India in this course. The Classification Module was led Mr Toufic Allouche (Lebanon), Classification Officer for IWBF Asia Oceania Zone (IWBF Classification Instructor). Total of 27 participants from 13 states participated in this course. The Coaching and Player Instruction Module was led by Mr Maurice Hammerton, Development Officer for IWBF Europe. There were 19 participants from 9 states of India and 1 participant from Malaysia in the coaches course. A total of 53 male athletes (20 athletes under 22 and 33 athletes above 22 years age) and 13 female athletes from 14 states participated in the module. As a whole participants for all the 4 courses represented 20 states/UTs of India.
Accommodation for the participants was arranged at National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME). It was situated very near to the stadium. Participants enjoyed their stay in this beautiful place. Our partner Cognizant extended excellent volunteering support for our event. They were supported by volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank, Synchrony Financial, students from Rosy Buds High School in Kavadiguda and some other enthusiastic volunteers. Ms Sri Padmini Chennapragada who is doing her doctorate in Adaptive Sports in USA extended very good support for this event. Max Cure hospitals provided medical support for this event. Motivation India deputed their technical expert for maintaining the wheelchairs during this event.
The technical camp culminated with the first ever International Exhibition match between India and Thailand teams. Though India lost to Thailand 28-84, it was an excellent platform for Indian athletes to gauge their performance as per international standards and train accordingly. We are very much thankful to Association for Wheelchair Basketball of Thailand for accepting our invitation.
Mr B Venkatesham, IAS, Secretary to Government of Telangana Youth Advancement, Tourism & Culture Department graced the closing function as Chief Guest, Mr A Dinkar Babu, IAS, VC & MD, Sports Authority of Telangana State, Mr Norbert Kucera (Germany), Chairman, Technical Commission, IWBF, Mr
Toufic Allouche (Lebanon), Classification Officer, IWBF Asia Oceania Zone (IWBF Classification Instructor), Mr Maurice Hammerton (UK), Development Officer, IWBF, Europe, Mr Adebayo Olowo-Ake from ICRC, and Mr Sashi and Mr Manohar from Cognizant as Guests of
Honour. Mr B Venkatesham promised to extend all possible support for the development of WCBB sport in Telangana State and also to make Hyderabad the hub for parasports.
Download : Report (128KB, PDF)
The local and national media covered this event extensively. Event related articles and stories on media:
1. Article by Mr Steve Goldberg on FIBA Website on the developments of Wheelchair Basketball in India: http://www.fiba.com/news/before-the-best-of-the-world-the-rest-of-the-world
2. Link for article in The Hindu: http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/national-wheelchair-basketball-camp-in-city/article8703201.ece
3. Link for story on News18- CNNIBN: http://www.news18.com/videos/sports/five-day-wheelchair-basketball-technical-camp-in-hyderabad-1260702.html
4. Link for article in News 18: http://www.news18.com/news/sports/wheelchair-basketball-in-india-gets-much-needed-boost-1260684.html