As the sporting season for 2019 kicks off, many athletes will be working to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games. It is, after all, the final countdown to this epic show of athleticism.
Hello, all! Best wishes for 2019 … Wow, 2019: one year to go before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games! I can’t believe that we’re so close. As said before, this is a big year for all the athletes who are going to attempt to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the different World Championships happening this year.
We will be keeping a close eye on all these Championships as they will hopefully be indicative of what we can expect in Tokyo next year.
On a separate note, I have to congratulate my former South African teammate and friend, Kobus Oeschger, on his excellent showing at the inaugural International Wheelchair Golf Open in Spain late last year. Kobus is one of the most talented wheelchair sportsmen I have ever met. He is without a doubt one of the best wheelchair basketball players this country has produced and now he is excelling in wheelchair golf. Carry on, Kobus, and keep the South African flag flying high. Well done, bud!
The next major sporting event will be the South Africa Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) National Championships, which will be held in Stellenbosch at the end of March. The first ever National Championships I attended – a long time ago – was in Stellenbosch and I still have awesome memories of the event.
Hopefully I will be able to attend it again and get to catch up with all our inspiring athletes. That’s it for now – short and sweet, but the ball will start rolling soon and we will have lots to tell you about on the sporting front in the next edition.
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.