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MILKHA SINGH BACKS THE WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL TEAM. WILL YOU?
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
CAMPAIGN TEAM
CROWDRATING
9/10
Let's send the U-23 men’s team to the Asia Oceania Championship in Thailand. This is the first step to the Paralympics & World Championships
RAISED
INR 3,37,900
GOAL INR 11,90,000
DAYS LEFT
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FUNDERS
141
28% FUNDED
Accepts funds from Indian Passport/ ID holders only.
Campaign ended.

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Funding Model :Flexible
Started from 30/09/2016
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Asia Oceanic Zonal Championship for Wheelchair Basketball will take place in Thailand in January 2017. This is a qualifying tournament for the World Under-23 Basketball Championship for persons with disability.

In a first, the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India, which is a member of International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, has made concrete plans to send an Indian Under-23 Wheelchair Basketball Team to the Asia Oceanic Zonal Championship in an effort to make it to world level.

Click on the video to see Milkha Singh supporting the “Wheelchair basketball U23 team” & asking India for their support!

19 Indian athletes took part & won 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the recent Paralympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, doing India proud. Wonderful as the showing was, did you know that there has been no Indian presence in any team sport in the Paralympics till now?

Thanks to intensive efforts of the WBFI in organizing training camps and tournaments, in just over two years, India has an India under-23 men’s basketball team, which is raring to represent India, gain exposure and bring laurels.

If the Indian team finishes in the Top 3 at the Asia Oceania Championship, it will make it to World Championship in Canada in June 2017. Let us join together and create the opportunity.

The wheelchair basketball team in action at an international tournament

India’s greatest athlete Milkha Singh, The flying Sikh, who did India proud in the 1960 Rome Olympics, is a big believer and supporter of this initiative and team. He understands the challenges these sportsmen in wheelchairs face and exhorts every Indian to support this initiative.

C’MON INDIA – Let us support the first ever Paralympic-Wheelchair Basketball team from our country!

Fund this campaign to get them to the Asia Oceania Zone Qualifying Tournament in January 2017.

Why our financial support is critical

The Indian Wheelchair Basketball U23 team is preparing to take part in the Asia Oceania Zone Qualifying Tournament in Thailand from 21st to 28th January 2017. As almost the entire set of players shortlisted hail from economically challenged background, to make a mark on the international stage, the team needs your support. The outlay is INR 11,90,000 to pay for training, participation, travel and accommodation.

As there are no funding options in the mainstream sports arena for this initiative, the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI), a registered national body, has had to reach out to all of us to help make its plans possible. Once the team gets overseas and makes the cut to the World level, funding options will improve, but not just yet. Now they need each of us to chip in.

A player of the wheelchair basketball team in action

Wheelchair Basketball Team Management

Ms. Madhavi Latha -  President of WBFI

The driving force behind this initiative is Madhavi Latha, President of the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India. She is a National Paralympic swimming champion and wheelchair basketball player. Polio and a near tryst with death have not deterred her passion for sports.

Hers is a story of courage, grit & determination.

A decade ago, her health condition deteriorated due to post polio syndrome. Doctors gave her a year to live. Her spinal cord was compressed dangerously, impairing her lungs and making it difficult for her body to receive the oxygen it needed. This caused her muscles to weaken as well.

Even with immediate spinal surgery, her prospects did not look promising. Things turned when a physiotherapist suggested hydrotherapy - exercising in water. The buoyancy of water made it easier for her body to hold itself up and strengthened her muscles. She could walk underwater. “This meant a completely different world of freedom for me.” Says Madhavi.

This propelled her to start the ‘Yes, We Can Too!’ initiative to encourage persons with disabilities pursue and excel at sports! Additionally sports has the ability to make them happier, which leads to them living more fulfilling lives. It takes away from the perceived stigma that comes attached with disability.

Persons with disability who are into sports lead a more healthy, productive and active lives. We not just supporting the team, but encouraging others to take up sport and promoting health.

Toufic Allouche (Lebanon) - IWBF Instructor

Toufic Allouche is an International Wheelchair Basketball Federation instructor. He started his career in wheelchair basketball as a manager and then a player in Montpellier, France. He started coaching the 1st division basketball teams in Lebanon in 1988, and wheelchair basketball team from 1989.

He is a very experienced coach having played basketball for five years in Europe. He has been a support in the development of wheelchair basketball in India. His secret for success is:

`Lots of fun off court, lots of work on court. Everybody has a role to play & if one is not ready for that, better not join. Anybody who tries to play all roles, better stay home.’

M. Antony Das Pereira - Indian Team Head Coach

M. Antony Das Pereira is a veteran of the Indo- Pak War 1971. A Spinal Cord Injury while serving the nation meant a life on a wheelchair for 45 years now. He lives it to the full and in into athletics, wheelchair basketball and swimming. He has won many medals at the national and international level. He initiated sports activities in Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Pune, and encourages his mates from the Army, Navy and Air Force to participate in sports and trains them.

Image: Milkha Singh with the WBFI officials

COST BREAKUP:

This crowdfunding campaign for the India Under-23 Wheelchair Basketball Team aims to raise INR 11,90,000. Detailed break up:


Image: The wheelchair basketball team after an international match.

FINAL LIST OF 22 PROBABLES :

India Under-23 Wheelchair Basketball Team will comprise 12 players. Based on performance in two tournaments in India over the past nine months, 22 players are in the reckoning. The final team will be selected after further training and matches.



FAQs

MORE INFO ABOUT THE DISABLED & ABOUT PARA SPORTS:

As per WHO report 9% to 10% of Indian population is disabled. Among them persons with physical disabilities are more in number because of accidents.

Players of Wheelchair Basketball need not be wheelchair users. Players with lower limbs (legs) related any type of disability are eligible. They may be able to walk with crutches or without even crutches with only a limp, they may be able to walk. In addition to lower limbs, they can have disability related to upper limbs (hands) too as long as they are able to propel the wheelchair on their own.

Till now India participated in Paralympics ONLY in Individual sports like swimming, athletics, archery etc. Never has India participated in team games like Wheelchair Basketball in Paralympics. The main reason is individuals can succeed despite barriers (no support from family/Society, lack of sponsorship, etc.) but for team games the whole ecosystem (facilities, technical support, infrastructure, sponsorship, etc) have to be in place and also the budget for an entire group (not 1 or 2 players) will be on higher side. In this background, Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) a registered National body working to support WCBB sport in India is struggling to mobilise funds to send a first ever team from India to participate in U23 qualifying match for world championship, which is to be held in Bangkok in January 2017.

Fortnightly updates have been committed to after the campaign ends.
4 months ago



Paralympics medals forgotten? Wheelchair basketball team starves for funds

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SOUMO GHOSH PublishedNov 3, 2016, 



Team needs money to participate in Bangkok qualifiers next year; they may even go to World Champs from there.

 Despite getting a huge boost from the corporate funding, the WBFI still requires a large amount of money to send its team to Bangkok. (Photo: WBFI/ Facebook)


Chennai: India’s Paralympians recently beat the country’s 119-strong Olympic contingent in medals 4-2 bringing good cheer among fans and the political class which showered them with gifts.

But have we learnt any lessons there? No.

It has recently come to light that the country is still struggling to send its wheelchair basketball team to the men’s U-23 Asian qualifiers, in Bangkok, Thailand, next year for want of funds.

The Chennai-based Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) has been campaigning for donations to send their team for the prestigious tournament.


Residential property developers South Indian Shelters Pvt. Ltd has come to their aid, contributing around Rs 3 lakh to the federation.

However, that amount is not even nearly enough to send the team to Bangkok, according to WBFI president and former para-swimmer Madhavi Latha.

With great urgency in her voice, she told Deccan Chronicle over phone, “We need more support. South Indian Shelters Pvt Ltd has been very helpful in giving the Rs 3 lakh to register for the tournament.”

This would be the first time that a wheelchair basketball team from India would be participating in an international tournament, if WBFI can manage to send its athletes.

The financial help from South India shelters came just at the right moment for WBFI, as the deadline for the registration was on Monday, October 31.

“We have registered for the tournament for now, but we require a lot more help, if we are to send our team to Bangkok next year,” said Madhavi.

“Firstly, we will need to conduct a training camp for our players in January. Then we also need to take care of flight tickets for players and coaches,” explained Madhavi.

Finishing in the top-three places in this tournament would ensure qualification for the World Championships in June 2017, in Canada. However, it is more about participation, rather than qualification for the Indians, at this moment.

According to the WBFI president, the federation needs around Rs 10 lakh for a training camp and send its players to Bangkok.

“We are also trying to invite a foreign coach, Toufic Allouche (from Lebanon). He has already worked with our players, and will come back in January for the training camp,” said Madhavi. “Our players are still in touch with him, and he keeps giving them tips on how to do different things.”

Despite the possible funding however, the players may have to travel to the Asian qualifiers without the proper playing equipment. Every player requires a personalised sports wheelchair, depending on what position they play, and their particular disability.

According to Madhavi, each customised sports wheelchair may cost somewhere between Rs 3-5 lakhs, which takes the total cost for getting a wheelchair for the entire squad up to at least Rs 36 lakhs.      

WBFI confirmed they have sent a proposal to the Paralympics Council of India (PCI), to fund the team’s trip to Bangkok. The overall costs for the personalised wheelchairs have also been mentioned in the proposal. However, any financial help is yet to come from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), through the PCI, says Madhavi.

“We are trying with the PCI to get support from the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The SAI does not directly deal with para-sports federations. They will support only through PCI,” said Madhavi.

The WBFI chief also went on to describe how historic an event it would be if the wheelchair basketball team were to get government support.

“In Paralympics, there is no representation in team games from India. It is only in individual games, like athletics or swimming,” she said.

“We have already taken so many initiatives with the wheelchair basketball team. Now there are chances that we may be able to send our team for the Tokyo Paralympics. So I think it is high time to start supporting (para) team games in India.”

When government support is yet to arrive, the WBFI got support from the corporates.

Real estate developers South India Shelter Pvt Ltd came to their aid.

“When we heard the wheelchair basketball federation needed help, I called up the president and provided support, as per our means,” said the firm’s managing director Mohammad Ali, speaking exclusively to this paper.

The federation continues to look for financial help. However, WBFI need to collect Rs 10 lakh in the next two months.



http://deccanchronicle.com/sports/in-other-news/031116/indian-para-basketball-team-seeks-rs10-lakh-to-participate-in-intl-tournament.html




4 months ago


We at Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) are extremely happy to inform you all that after facing so many challenges, we crossed one big milestone, which is  paying of U23 team participation fee for World Championship.

We wholeheartedly all our donors and supporters for making this happen.

We have crossed the first hurdle!!!. Now we need to concentrate on getting funds for travel cost, players kit, training for the highly talented and motivated players. This is history in making, since this will be be first ever Paralympic Team to represent India in a World event. Please contribute generously and be a part of the History.

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