South African-German top competition in wheelchair basketball in Johannesburg
From July 21-29, 2012 South Africa hosted the German Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball team. Only one month ago the South African Wheelchair Basketball Team visited Germany. This South African – German exchange programme was initiated by the German Association for Wheelchair Sports and facilitated through financial support from Germany's Foreign Office.
Building bonds that last during wheelchair basketball competition
(© German Embassy Pretoria)
Wheelchair Basketball South Africa, WBSA, had organized a tri-nation friendly tournament, in the framework of which the teams from South Africa, Columbia and Germany could exercise together and also measure their athletic abilities competing in several matches. The German team commended the excellent organisation by WBSA and the first class sports hall where training and matches took place. However, what the players found most important was the spirit of partnership and cooperation felt by the players from all three countries, which – in spite of the wintry outside temperatures - evolved out of the intensive joint training and trials of strength.
One month ago, in June, the South African team had visited Germany. The sporting and cultural programme organized by the German Association for Wheelchair Sports had laid a sound basis for athletic activities and meetings in South Africa. Some members of the two teams will meet up again during the Paralympic Games in London.
Good relations between the Wheelchair Basketball Associations of South Africa and Germany have existed for quite some time already. The intensive personal encounter of the latest exchange programme has brought them to a different level, which is marked by a greater human contact of the players.
“More than anything else we are colleagues, not only opponents in sports”, one of the German players said while speaking to a representative of the German Embassy. There are some South African players performing in Germany. The latest exchange programme, which the German Foreign Office supported with 38,000 Euro, should also contribute to greater and wider spread publicity of wheelchair sports.