CHENNAI: Yes we Too Can (YWTC), Chennai, a charitable trust, in partnership with Choice International, a UK-based development organisation, organised a wheelchair basketball development workshop at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Saturday. .
The event was a friendly exhibition match between Chennai Eagles, a new team, and the former captains of the Indian Basketball Team.
Madhavi Lata, president, YWTC, said that wheelchair basketball was one of the largest international Paralympics sport played by people with different physical disabilities. “All one needs to do is follow the coach’s instructions and shoot the ball,” she said.Mark Walker, an Australian coach for wheelchair basketball, was invited to train the physically challenged athletes. In a career spanning 30 years, he has coached wheelchair basketball teams in several nations, and even the Australian Men’s wheelchair basketball team, which went onto win gold at the Atlanta Paralympics 1996. “It was a little difficult to train the team in Chennai because of the language problem, but they did a good job on the whole,” he said. He expressed his concern about the situation of disabled people in the country. “It is sad to see that the disabled in this country are ‘no class citizens’. We have to stop pitying the disabled and treat them as equals,” he said.
Despite all the enthusiasm the event saw, organisers said that they suffered fund crunch. “Even though the government has given us concessions, we need more sponsors. Organising such events is an expensive affair,” said Madhavi.