Centre court is name of the game for men riding on wheels

2017-01-12 06:01
 The Gugulethu Wheelchair Basketball Forum wants everyone disabled person to take part in sports. PHOTO: spear mkonto

The Gugulethu Wheelchair Basketball Forum wants everyone disabled person to take part in sports. PHOTO: spear mkonto

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The Gugulethu Wheelchair Basketball Forum is appealing to the greater community to support its endeavours.

Chairman Oscar Tokwana said the forum comprises of three disabled bodied associations, namely Nkunzi Organisation of Disabled People, Vukuhambe and Kwa Nontuthuzelo, after it became apparent that “people on wheels wanted action”.

“We assembled this team out of the need to give wheelchair basketballers a chance to play and keep their bodies active,” said Tokwana.

He said disabled people wanted to show that they are also humans who can take part in sport and recreation.

“It is critical to note that disability does not only affect the disabled individual but also the family and the immediate community,” he said.

The majority of people with disabilities in South Africa have been excluded from the mainstream of society and have thus been prevented from accessing fundamental sport rights.

“The exclusion experienced by people with disabilities and their families is the result of a range of factors, for example: a discriminatory and weak legislative framework which has sanctioned and reinforced exclusionary barriers,” he said.

Tokwana said the formation of the forum has already yielded positive results; they have recruited 15 members since they launched on July 18 in 2016.

“The team is fast learning the tricks of the game(basketball) and I am happy to say they will soon became a noticeable force,” he enthused.

Team coach Cedrick Nododile sang his players praises, saying they all show dedication to the game.

“This bunch of players will go a long way but we need to attract more players. There are many people on wheelchairs who are sitting at home doing nothing, we need to attract them to the centre of the court,” he said.

Nododile singled out their only female player Nosiphiwo Magqaza for being “examplary and dedicated to the game”.

He also mentioned Panki Mashalaba as a promising player but added that they “were all learners”.

“We keep learning new things each day,” he said with a smile.

Tokwana added pressure will soon be off Nododile’s shoulders as Wheelchair Basketball South Africa will be giving them a new coach this year.

“We approached them and they promised to find a new professional coach and we are delighted about that. It will take us to a new level,” he said.

The team recently received a kit boost from a Jo'burg based company, Cathsseta.

The team holds its practice sessions at J Nontulo Sportsground in Newcrossroads and at Endlovini on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information contact Tokwana on 0785452803.

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