Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Inclusive sports at the University of Ouaga

On Saturday we participated in a raising awareness event at the University of Ouagadougou, which was organized by the Association des Elèves et Etudiants Handicapés du Burkina (Association for students with disabilities in Burkina Faso). The aim of the event was to showcase disability sports such as Boccia, Wheelchair Basketball, Goalball, Blind Running and Sitting Volleyball although the latter did not take place due to the lack of time and the unbearable heat.

Left to Right: Stanley, Gerard, Tom 
 Our team led the demonstrations for Goalball and Boccia, which was participated in by attendees. Handicape Solidaire Burkina (HSB), one of the partner organisations of International Service in Burkina, led the Wheelchair Basketball as they had a pre-existing team.

Goalball in action

The first activity of the day was goal ball. Goal ball is a sport for people with a visual impairment. Each team consists of three people sporting blindfolds and kneepads attempting to defend a goal. The teams take it in turn to roll a ball, which contains a bell, at the other goal and the team with the most goals wins. The sport requires good listening skills, something that many who tried it, us included, found quite challenging! Goal ball is great fun to participate in and a good spectacle as well!

Abdul playing wheelchair basketball
 Next up was Boccia. The basic rules of Boccia are as follows: two teams must throw their balls closer than the others to the jackball. The amount of points allocated depends on the amount of balls that are closer to the jackball than the other team’s closest ball. The match was between the students of the University of Ouagadougou and HSB, which immediately became very competitive and heated.

Wheelchair basketball in action 

Lastly was a Wheelchair Basketball match, which I was able to join in on- it was very physically demanding! Despite it being my first time playing wheelchair basketball I was able to score a 3-pointer. By midday, everyone could relax and have a much needed water sachet after a morning of intense sport. It was a successful day that owed itself to everyone’s participation.

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