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A friendly wheelchair basketball game to fight prejudices in Albania

A friendly wheelchair basketball game to fight prejudices in Albania

The Eagles wheelchair basketball team played against Kosovo to reduce stigma and encourage the participation of people with disabilities in sport.

ADP Albania

Active Disabled People Albania (ADP Albania) is a new non-governmental organisation in Tirana, Albania, that focuses on sport for disabled people with the aim to empower Albanians with disabilities and fight prejudices. One of its first successes was the organising of a wheelchair basketball team called the Eagles. On 25 November 2012 the Eagles played a friendly game against a team from Kosovo, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Albania’s independence. It was the first time that such an event was organised and broadcast in Albania.

A well-covered event
ADP’s activities are strongly supported by several municipalities. The event was well-attended and broadcast in Albania and in Kosovo.  Mr. Lulzim Basha, the Mayor of Tirana, was present for the event and expressed his support of sport activities for disabled people.

A success for both the participants and the public
“Yes We Can” was the slogan of the event which was an opportunity for all disabled people in Albania, especially the youth, to take hope, be aware that people care, motivate themselves to be part of society and to show the wider public what they are capable of doing.

Many people with disabilities were compelled to get involved in sports activities and at the end of the game asked how to join ADP Albania. Players were glad to have the opportunity to show their family what they can do.

Seeing you play basketball gives me hope for life," commented a woman who attended the event. “Now I have the motivation to get out of my home, make new friends, think about what I have to do tomorrow, and plan my future." Eagles' player Erblini also shared the following, “The Eagles is my team. I love sport and I want to do it. With sport I feel free as an Eagle”.

Thanks to this event, players have gained self-esteem and integrity, have a reason to be active, have benefited from the interaction with others and being part of a team and have participated in an important step in reducing stigma.

Next steps
The friendly game intended to promote ADP Albania priorities for the next years which are:
• Organising the Eagles Club Sport
• Establishing a network of sports teams across major cities in Albania
• Developing an Albanian league for wheelchair basketball and other various sports, such as tennis and table tennis
• Recruiting players and other athletes with disabilities to represent Albania in international competitions
• Making a bid to represent Albania at the 2016 Paralympics Games in Brazil.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]

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ADP Albania

Published

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 13:00