Over sixty women from across six nations – Laos, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia - in the Asia Oceania region, participated in the third Asia Oceania Women’s Development Camp earlier this month. The Camp was an intensive training and education week about wheelchair basketball held in Suphanburi, Thailand.
Organised by IWBF Asia Oceania, the aim of the Asia Oceania Women’s Development Camp is to develop the sport for women in the region. It is also gives countries the opportunity to bring not only players to participate and play wheelchair basketball but bring additional volunteers and staff to learn and educate themselves about the sport to take back home and continue to grow the programmes in their countries. So, alongside the players, there were twenty coaches, referees, and classifiers in attendance from across the Zone.
Once again dual Australian Paralympic Gold Medallist Troy Sachs headed the coaching staff, inspiring with his passion to pass on his knowledge, which was evident in every training session. Paralympic medallists Alison Mosely and Tim Maloney joined him. There was also direction and workshops given for the referees and classifiers from IWBF Asia Oceania Chair of Technical, Matt Wells, and IWBF Asia Oceania Chair of Classification, Toufic Allouche.
IWBF Asia Oceania Secretary General, Don Perriman, said:
“This was the third camp for women’s development that we have held in the Zone, and the atmosphere within the group was hard to define. There was much laughter, the occasional tears but most of all the unbridled enthusiasm and a willingness to learn that makes it all worthwhile.
“Many of the players have been to previous camps, and the improvement in their skill level and understanding of the game was clear for all to see. As the week unfolded the newcomers to the programme surprised themselves with how much they could improve with good direction and practice techniques.
“I would like to thank all the players who attended the camp and countries who supported them, as well as the coaches and tutors who gave up their time to be here. Furthermore, the Zone is indebted to the Sport Association for Wheelchair Basketball of Thailand for again hosting this camp. The support from this Association is outstanding and allows the Zone to continue to offer these opportunities to our players.”
The final days of the camp involved competition games for all teams, with Cambodia and Laos earning the right to compete in the Asian Para Games later this year in Hangzhou.
Photo Credit: Faye Veras Photography & Matthew Wells