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On the 7th of September, the Jawalakhel Wheelchair Sports Club, J.W.S.C., a local association promoting adaptive sports for persons living with disabilities organized the 1st Inter Valley Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at St. Xavier School.

It was the first time that J.W.S.C. organized such an event and it was a glorious success.

The event not only had the participation of two new teams, a great development as more and more youth living with disabilities decided to get into sports, but also saw a great efforts from the organizers to attract and include persons living without disabilities, involved them through fun wheelchair basketball games.

Practicing wheelchair basketball is not only entertaining but also a great way to discover and understand more about disability and how sports can be a game-changer to make the society truly inclusive and open to all.

J.W.S.C. was also outstanding in putting together a great network of partners, from small to big businesses and members of the civil society that were all ready and enthusiastic about endorsing this prime initiative.

It is certainly a matter of great pride for all the members of the club to be able to hold such event in such a professional and organized fashion.

Its members equally shared responsibilities and each played an essential role in a true example of shared leadership where everybody leads in undertaking one task.

Certainly within the J.W.S.C., there exceptionally talented individuals and those are the ones who more often take initiative on the day to day running of the club but it is also equally true that the club truly embeds elements that encourage and support others to step up and do the their part.

Such key organizational values should be promoted throughout the private sector and here a group of persons living with disabilities, normally held as the “underdogs” can show the way to the big shots within the corporate sector.

I am referring to a strong sense of ownership, honesty, a deep sense of cooperation and self-help and most importantly, sheer hard work and willpower.

The way J.W.S.C. operates could be seen as a case study on what the belief and application on foundational values can attain.

It is a group of friends that initially came together just to spend time doing something for fun and for their physiological and mental wellbeing as we all aware of the positive spillovers effects of practicing sports.

Then, with their levels of confidence growing, they stepped up the tasks and the mission of their work and now the club is a registered association involved in advocacy and development work.

The fact that it is entirely run by passionate volunteers shows also a strong sense of civic passion and active citizenship.

The way the club embraces its responsibility towards the community is also inspiring. After all no one should be surprised that their members got active in cleaning campaigns and a variety of grassroots level advocacy work.

The fact that the 1st Edition of the Inter-Valley Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was positively received by the private sector is also extremely important.

Real social inclusion at all levels will happen only when people from different backgrounds and different life stories come together and work out new options and new possible ways of cooperation and social advancement.

Youths from Rotary and from the British School also got enthusiastically involved to support the event: from selling cakes and sweets to running the fun wheelchair basketball event to have game stall on the side of the court, the involvement of these youth made the difference.

Young but determined wheelchair basketball coaches and other incredible social work volunteers also played their part in ensuring the event would run smoothly.

Adaptive sports in Nepal have made important strides in the recent years and this happened because persons living with disabilities took the lead and forged new partnerships.

It is significant and very timely that Andrew Parson, the President of the International Paralympic Committee recently paid an official visit to Nepal recently. It showed that Nepal is well regarded internationally in the field of adaptive sports.

The next challenge would be to be able to organize a Para South Asian Games in Nepal and this could be the goal that all the national stakeholders involved in adaptive sports, the private sector and the Government of Nepal should target.

Within a 2 to 3 years planning framework, such huge undertaking can be doable if all the stakeholders can engaged.

It is high time we all became ambitious and believed in the potential of incredible adaptive sports athletes from Nepal who are already competing internationally and are all striving to set the high bar for other peers.

It is also high time we set more audacious goals here in Nepal to bring adaptive sports in the mainstream.

Kudos go to J.W.S.C. for the great organizational skills, professionalism and determination shown in the organization of the tournament.

More great things will surely come in the future.

Galimberti is the Co-Founder of ENGAGE, an NGO partnering with youths living with disabilities. He can be reached at


Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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