Albania and Kosovo collaborate to promote disability sport
1st wheelchair basketball tournament
The Eagles team participated in the tournament in Gjilan, Kosovo on 17 February 2013, which was organised to celebrate the 5 years of Kosovo's independence. The teams participating in this event represented Albania, and four cities in Kosovo: Gjilan, Prizreni, Prishtina and Ferizaj. The final was played between “Drita'', the team from Gjilan, and the ADP-Albania supported Eagles. The Drita team won the match. This was the first time that this kind of tournament had been organised in Gjilan.
The tournament was organised by the HANDIKOS in Gjilan in collaboration with the municipality of Gjilan. Representatives of Gjilan municipality attended the event and they expressed their support for sport activities for people with disabilities, welcoming the idea of similar activities in the future.
Raising self-esteem and gaining respect
The tournament was firstly beneficial for the Albanian players with disabilities who were involved in this tournament. They met every day prior to the tournament as they prepared for the event. This provided a great opportunity to talk about the event and how players benefited from being involved in sport activities.
Directly benefiting from this tournament were 50 people with disabilities participating in the wheelchair basketball games, their friends and families. During the tournament, players shared their experiences with each other and with their friends and family. They talked about this type of activity and how they feel when they play. These events are motivational for people with disabilities and encourage participation and self-autonomy. It also enables them to gain self-esteem and respect from their communities.
A success of this event lies in the fact that there were many cities from Kosovo and two different countries involved in the collaboration of the project. This indicates that these kinds of activities are being known throughout the region. Sport events for people with disabilities are gaining respect and being perceived more positively by the wider community.
The tournament was also an opportunity to inform the wider community, local authorities and other NGOs about disability sport.
[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]