And no, it’s not a car. Wheelchair basketball has become more exciting with three-a-side matches. Leon Fleiser provides some insights
As the world craves more excitement and entertainment, the sports world has been adapting for this. Just look at T20 cricket, seven’s rugby or action netball. So too has basketball started evolving from five-man to three-a-side. The athletes without disabilities started first. It is even now an Olympic sport.
Wheelchair basketball has now followed suit and, although it’s not a Paralympic sport as yet, it is in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Wheelchair Basketball South Africa hosted the qualification tournament for Africa at the Vodacom Mandeville Indoor Centre from October 6 to 10, 2021. The following countries were represented:
- Gambia Men’s team;
- Namibia Men’s team;
- Rwanda Men’s team;
- Kenya Men’s and Women’s team; and
- South Africa Men’s and Women’s team.
I’m happy to say that both the South African men’s and women’s teams have qualified for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. We wish them all the best. These games are the only international multi-coded games that are fully integrated. The other para sports that will be at these games are:
- Para Athletics;
- Para Swimming;
- Para Cycling;
- Para Powerlifting;
- Para Table Tennis; and
- Para Triathlon.
We will hopefully qualify athletes in most of these sports and keep a proud tradition of getting many medals at the Commonwealth Games.
On a sad note, another hero has fallen. Dr Chris Carey, a talented sportsman and a great doctor. He was my hero when I started playing wheelchair basketball and my doctor for many years. Rest in peace, my friend.
Leon Fleiser has been involved with sport in the disability sector since 1992 when he started playing wheelchair basketball. He captained the national team to the Sydney Paralympic Games and the 2002 World Championships. He started working for Disability Sport South Africa in 2001 as a Coordinator for High Performance. It merged into SASCOC in 2005 and he is now the Manager for Team Preparation and Academy Systems. He has delivered Team South Africa to numerous Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and African Games. email: email@example.com