As another sporting season ends, we can start looking forward to all that 2019 promises
Apart from wheelchair tennis, the sporting season has come to an end. As promised, here’s a quick update on the Supersport Wheelchair Basketball Series winners. A big congratulations to Lions from North West for an absolutely brilliant win in the final. Hope you caught it live on SuperSport.
The Vodacom National Championships was won by the ever-improving Central Gauteng Team (no bias here…).
My trip to Madrid, Spain for the International Paralympic Committee Membership Gathering was epic. Huge strides will be taken to ensure that Para sport evolves and improves going forward and I am humbled to be part of it. Since the new president has been in charge, he has taken the organisation to new heights, which is not easy. Watch this space.
I also had my second visit to Tokyo to assist in the preparations for the 2020 Paralympic Games. Things have vastly improved since my last visit but there is still some work to do, especially in providing more barrier-free rooms in their hotels. This is now law, but only for new hotels and hotels that will be refurbished before the Games.
We are moving into the 2019 season – the most important season for preparation and qualification for the Paralympic Games. There are some great events coming up next year and the stand-out will be the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled National Championships in Stellenbosch in March.
This will be the trials for the World Para Athletics and Swimming Championships later in 2019. Let’s give our athletes our best wishes during their off season and let’s once again get behind them next year, cheering them on for glory!
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.