The first ever wheelchair basketball introductory camp was kicked off at Imphal in Manipur on Wednesday under the aegis of Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur and Department of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of Manipur and Shishu Sarothi.
The goal of the 3-day workshop is to train the first set of players and coaches from Manipur for the long-term development of the sport amongst the disability sector in Manipur.
The camp has been underway in Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium at Imphal.
It is hoped that the training will go a long way in contributing to increasing the number of qualified coaches and players for wheelchair basketball in India. 25 trainee players will be participating out of which 5 will be women trainee players.
Wheelchair basketball is a para-sport played in Paralympics since 1960 and around 105 countries are playing this game. In India, this sport was introduced by WBFI in 2014.
Manipur Social Welfare and Cooperation Nemcha Kipgen, Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Jacintha Lazarus, Director, Youth Affairs & Sports, Armstrong Pame and Secretary General, WBFI, Kalyani Rajaraman attended the inaugural function of the introductory camp.
Officials of both the departments and students from special schools also participated in the day’s the inaugural function.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Nemcha Kipgen spoke on the importance of sports in everyone’s life and stressed that sport is even more important in the life of a differently-abled person.
Sport teaches independence, disciplined lifestyle and sense of competition, involvement in any form of sports will have rehabilitation not only on the physical body but also on rehabilitating and enhancing the willpower of the physically challenged person, she asserted.
Acknowledging that differently-abled people participate in high performance as well as in competitive and recreational sport, she said that the efforts of a person with disability, who overcomes the odds and participates in any para Olympic Games, is commendable and something that should be encouraged and motivated by all.
She added that a nodal department, Social Welfare Department has been earnestly working for improving the lives of our differently-abled people by implementing various welfare schemes and programmes to support them for secure education, academic, skill development that will enable them to earn a living and to become self-independent.
Those officials of the social welfare department also spoke on the occasion as it was introduced for the first time that Wheelchair Basketball in Manipur.