Wheelchair Basketball South Africa (WBSA) will host the 2020 Afro Paralympic Qualifiers in Johannesburg starting on Sunday 1st March.
The 2020 Afro Paralympic Qualifiers will act as the African Zone’s qualification tournament for the wheelchair basketball at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with one place up for grabs in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Wheelchair Basketball South Africa (WBSA) won the bid to host the qualifiers following the cancellation of the Africa Para Games and would not be able to do this without the support of their sponsors, especially one principal sponsor Sasol who have been a dedicated partner of WBSA for over 12 years.
Sasol’s Group Brand Marketing Manager, Nozipho Mbatha, explained why Sasol have shown such commitment to WBSA and the sport of wheelchair basketball over the years, saying:
“Sasol believes in empowering and creating equal opportunities for disabled sport and for people living with disabilities. Our support for wheelchair basketball is driven by our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the development of national sport.
“Sasol is a company with a proudly South African heritage committed to inclusion and diversity and we believe that Wheelchair Basketball South Africa embodies this. When we launched the #Limitless initiative in 2018, our aim was to help unlock the potential and capability that exists within athletes. The same way we encourage players to be #Limitless, we believe that this is the true meaning behind wheelchair basketball.”
Not only are Sasol funding the WBSA High Performance Programme, but they are also making it possible for WBSA to broadcast the 2020 Afro Paralympic Qualifiers worldwide for wheelchair basketball fans to watch.
“Wheelchair basketball needs exposure, especially here in South Africa. As Sasol we pride ourselves on our South African heritage and we are honoured to play our part in educating spectators about the game and the athleticism that goes into the sport. The qualifiers are also an opportunity for the world to see what South Africa has to offer in terms of talent. Through this tournament and our #Limitless initiative, we hope to inspire other upcoming players to unlock their potential. “
The #Limitless initiative was launched by Sasol aimed at garnering more support for, and inspiring participation in women’s football and wheelchair basketball.
Wheelchair Basketball South Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, Charles Saunders, expressed the importance of the partnership between the two organisations and how it has helped develop the sport in South Africa, saying:
“In 2007 Wheelchair Basketball South Africa partnered up with Sasol SA. It has been an incredible inspirational sponsorship that has seen the South African National teams aspire at competing at all IWBF African Qualification tournaments, Paralympic and World Games since 2007, in our Under 23’s, Under 25’s and Senior teams.
“Sasol has enhanced the growth of our High-Performance Program qualifying International Referees, Commissioners and Coaches, all of whom have represented our country at the highest accolades of the profession. Their continual unwavering support has put Wheelchair Basketball South Africa onto the international stage and changed many athletes with physical disabilities lives. We are eternally grateful and proudly SASOL AmaWheela Girls and Boys. This is not just a game, it’s a way of life!”