Egyptian Alhassan Sedky has been appointed to the Athlete Steering Committee as a representative of the Africa Zone.

Alhassan currently lives in Texas, USA, after he moved there to study at the University of Texas Arlington where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Dual Master’s Degree. He is an active athlete not only for the Egyptian National Team, but for his club team Movin’ Mavs Wheelchair Basketball in the USA. Excited about being chosen to represent the Africa Zone, he said:

“It is an honour to be part of this change and a huge step towards incorporating the athletes’ voice in IWBF decisions. This sport has given me so many opportunities and I’m excited to get a chance to give back to the wheelchair basketball community.”

The 26-year-old first found wheelchair basketball in 2012 after a car accident at 18 years old left him paralysed. He had played the running game since he was 8 years old and was introduced to the wheelchair game when in Germany for his rehabilitation. However, on returning to Egypt the opportunities to play were limited, an area which Alhassan and his mother tried to address as they co-founded the Alhassan Foundation to raise awareness and help differently abled individuals to be active members in society. Alhassan went on to say one of his hopes for the future is to further develop wheelchair basketball:

“Wheelchair Basketball has grown remarkably since its inception and my hope is to see it grow further into a fully inclusive sport equally recognised as any other sport and for its players to have the same opportunities, resources, and rights as able-bodied athletes.”

Alhassan has been part of the Egyptian National Team programme since 2013 and attended the recent IWBF Africa Zone qualification tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he participated in the Zone workshop and congress meeting with other athletes, officials, and country representatives to discuss the needs of the Zone and how to develop it.

Alhassan understands the importance of communicating with his fellow athletes and for the sport to have the voice of the athletes included in its structure and believes it is a vital part of the role the Athlete Steering Committee will have

“I see the committee acting as a liaison between athletes and other stakeholders, representing the athletes’ view on different topics and helping to promote athletes’ involvement in the decision-making process across IWBF, so we can eventually ensure that athletes are represented in all decisions affecting the sport.

“This the first ever Athlete Steering Committee so I’m sure it’ll be a learning experience for both us and the IWBF. As a start I think it’s important to make sure we create a system that involves athletes as much as possible and to answer any concerns they might have.”

Find out more about the Athlete Steering Committee.