By Mohamed Lakdali
By Mohamed Lakdali
Rabat – Continuing a successful four year relationship with the US Embassy in Morocco, the TIBU association was back again with its first 2016 session of the Wheelchair basketball tour.
Surprising sports fans and the general public alike, this event aimed to promote the physical and psychological benefits for those disabled in Morocco that are confined to a wheelchair. The tour included matches between clubs, training sessions for trainers, workshops for disabled children and youth, and meeting between related associations.
This event was organized under the auspices of the Moroccan Royal federation for the sport of people with special needs (FRMSPP) in partnership with the American Academy of Casablanca (AAC) and Moroccan games and sports, which took place between the 26th and 31st of January in Casablanca, Agadir and Tiznit.
More than 200 participants aged between 6 and 18 years benefited from this sporting event. Moreover, 50 coaches were instructed and received training by some of the stars of the United States belonging to the Association of Wheelchair Basketball (NWBA).
Among the stars that attended and participated in this event were Carlie Cook, an experienced international coach for the SportsUnited organization – a division of the US Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs bureau – and Trooper Johnson, assistant basketball coach of the American junior basketball on wheelchairs national team in 2013. As coach of the US junior national team, Tropper Johnson won the gold medal in the Youth Games “Pan Am” edition in Argentina.
The aims that accompanied organizing a wheelchair basketball tour throughout many cities of the Kingdom were to spread social and noble values; some of these can be summarized as follows:
– Fight prejudice against various disabilities
– Exchanging experiences among different coaches coming from various associations and clubs in order to unify their work and curricula
– The promotion of good and effective practice for children and youth, especially those with special needs
– Utilize sports as a means to promote social ties between all sections of society, both those with and without special needs
In a statement with Morocco World News, TIBU president Mohamed Amine Zariat said “The main purpose of this event is to make basketball accessible for everyone and also to promote Wheelchair Basketball to disabled youth through basketball workshops.”
“Our vision in the long-term is to create a national championship that gathers many teams of wheelchair basketball (kids and teenagers) from all Moroccan cities, which impressed the Moroccan royal federation and expressed their to work with us to encourage the teams to create sections for young wheelchair basketball,” he added.
TIBU Association and the US Embassy in Morocco are sure now more than ever that the development and advancement of Moroccan youth can be achieved through sports, much like how the TIBU has come to Morocco to promote the engagement and growth of disabled youth through sport.