Wheelchair Basketball Heals Wounds in Palestine

Collection with 16 media items created by adrian

Palestine, West Bank 25 Sep 2014 00:00

September 25, 2014 Nablus, Palestine Established in the aftermath of the First Intifada, Nablus' wheelchair basketball team is amongst the most prominent in the West Bank. The squad includes players from the city and surrounding villages as well as Nablus' three refugee camps, and features several members of the current Palestinian national team. Many of the members obtained their disabilities from injuries sustained during the first and second Intifadas. Others were either born with, or developed debilitating conditions. Mu'awia Muna, the head coach of the Nablus team, is clear to stress that the team makes no differentiation between the causes of players' disabilities and that the fundamental issue at hand is the need "to provide sporting opportunities for all disabled people". Wheelchair basketball was one of the first Paralympic sports to develop in Palestine and, more than twenty years after its establishment, the Nablus wheelchair basketball team continues to train weekly. However, there are many obstacles faced by the club in its quest to continue work. Access to potential training venues and playing surfaces present constant challenges. Many sporting facilities in Palestine are now quite old and are not equipped with suitable disabled access. Lack of funding is also a major issue for all Paralympic sports in Palestine. The Nablus team's current wheelchairs have seen many years of regular use and are now in desperate need of replacement. With sports wheelchairs costing as much as 2000 euro each, the team needs to secure substantial support in order to continue to provide for the needs of Nablus' disabled athletes.

Palestine Nablus Wheelchair Basketball Palestinian Sport Paralympic Paralyzed Injury Disability Disabled Israel Intifada Uprising Occupation

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Mohammad Sammaro has played with the team for 4 years and also plays for the Palestinian national team.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Stretching exercises during training are led by Mohammad Hanfawi who has spent his life in a wheelchair. Hanfawi plays many sports but says basketball is one of his favorites.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

During the summer, training is held twice weekly at Ibn al-Haytham school in Nablus.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Bashar Mismar is amongst the members of the Nablus who have also played internationally for the Palestinian national team.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

The wheelchairs are now showing extensive signs of wear and the team is desperately searching for funding to secure new equipment.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

During the warmer summer months the team trains outdoors. During the winter accessible indoor facilities are not available in Nablus so the team must travel to areas outside the city which presents transportation challenges and further stretches the club's meagre budget.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Fundamental to the club's methodology is the belief that all disabled people must have access to sporting opportunities.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

A child watches an action-filled training session in Nablus.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

The Nablus team includes people suffering a range of debilitating conditions caused by both illness and injury.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

With great physical exertion placed involved in the sport, wheelchair basketball players must develop significant upper-body strength.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

The team has no wheelchair-adapted transport to ferry them to matches or training sessions.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Training continues under floodlights long after the sun has set.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Wheelchair basketball in Palestine faces major funding and accessibility challenges that must be addressed in order to continue to develop its provisions for disabled athletes.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

Although himself blind in one eye, Mahmoud Mohammad works as a volunteer to assist the wheelchair basketball team during training sessions and matches.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
25 Sep 2014

The team has been coached for many years by Mu'awia Muna who became paraplegic after being shot by the Israeli army during the First Intifada.

Wheelchair basketball heals wounds in...
Nablus, Palestine
By Rich Wiles
24 Sep 2014

There are 7 established wheelchair basketball teams in the West Bank.