REPORT ON A FOLLOW UP VISIT TO THE TAMALE TEAMS (24TH TO 26 FEBRUARY, 2022)
The working team on the All Ability Sports Project as part of their plans were to do a follow up visit to all the disciplines in their respective regions after the Leadership Training in September 2021. Tamale was the first place to visit per the schedule of the team; and was scheduled to the above dates.
The objectives of the visit were to follow up on how the leaders who attended the training to share with the team their experience after the training; and how they are using the lessons learnt at the leadership training at their various training grounds. Also, to meet the players and hear from them their thoughts on All Ability Sports project; as well as to discuss their challenges and their suggestions to influence future plans. Again, the team was to register all players who are interested of becoming members of the All Ability Sports. More so, the team was to follow up on the Fabricator who is working on the 100 basketball wheelchairs to see the progress of the work of production. Lastly, it was intended to do some presentation (training) to participants.
Meeting with Leaders
The Official Team met with the regional leadership of the various sport discipline in the region at the Regional Resources Centre for Persons with Disabilities on the first day 25th which was the arrival date. Only the leaders of the Blind and the Physically Disables were able to make it to the meeting; whiles the leaders of the Deaf were absent due to unavailability of sign language interpreter.
In total, we had seven (7) members in that meeting, including the three official team members. The leaders present share their experiences with the leadership training with us; and also narrated some of their major challenges facing them in their sport carrier. Please refer to the videos for those experiences shared and challenges narrated. Total number of thirty-three (33) players from the various sports disciplines were present at this meeting on the second day (26th) of the program. The Deaf were present this time because the official team arranged for a sign language interpreter for them. The meeting begun with a prayer, and self-introductions.
The official team led by Coach Benjamin Annor, together with Christiana Nkrumah, welcomed the house and introduced the ALL ABILITY SPORTS project to them, the mission and vision of the project (what it seeks to achieve). Participants were excited about the project and felt that the project has great potentials for them. They were overwhelmed with news of one hundred (100) basketball wheelchairs that the project is bring to them. This news actually raised their hope and trust for ALL ABILITY SPORTS project; and believe the project can do more for them to enable them achieve their dreams as sport men and women with disabilities.
See videos for some of their messages.
A Visit to Training Grounds
The Official Team made a visit to their training grounds to witness things for ourselves; and it was really bad to see the condition of the wheelchair basketball court and the court use for the goalball.
Goalball for the Blind for example, supposed to be played indoors but they have been playing it outside on a wrong court. There should also be a wooling carpet covering the court to prevent injuries but there was none. Players did not have elbow and knee cap protectors. The wheelchair basketball players also play on an old court that has a lot of potholes; and with thorn nets. They do not have much basketball wheelchairs to train so they are unable to train with a full set of teams.
The Deaf also complain about member’s interest being dwindled because they had to always wait for a number of some able teams to finish their training before their turn due to lack of special training grounds for them. All the three categories complained of lack of the balls they use; and transportation to and from training, since most of them are not really working, and those working too are not having their businesses booming.
They also claimed they have challenges with the use of some kits/logistics whenever they meet their counterparts from other countries during friendly matches and others; due to the fact that they have not been using such kits/logistics at their training sessions back home. Coach Benjamin, the leader of the Official Team promised to lobby for some of the kits/logistics (balls, and jerseys) for them to ease their stress and worries.
Registration of Interested Members
All participants show interest in becoming a member of the ALL ABILITY SPORTS and agreed to be registered. Their details, including their passport pictures were taking to initiate the registration immediately on our return. The details and the passport pictures taking will be used for a membership ID Cards for them. their pictures were taking by the camera man of the team so no cost was allotted to any member.
See videos of participants
Follow up on the 100 basketball Wheelchairs
The official team together with some three leaders for the physically disabled sports visited the metal workshop (Ibrahim Metal Workshop) where the 100 basketball wheelchairs are being produced. Production had started and in progress when the team got there. He was happy to see the team at his shop and confirmed receipt of the two tranches (GHS10,000.00) which were transferred to him through the wheelchair basketball leader in Tamale.
Mr. Ibrahim appealed to the official team to transfer some substantial amount to help him purchase the raw materials in bulk to reduce cost; since things on the market had already increased after he costed the items last year, 2021. He added that even though prices have hiked but he can charge us new amount for what we have already agreed on; but can only plead with us to top up more so that he doesn’t lose much.
The team asked him when he started manufacturing disability wheelchairs and what triggered his interest?
Mr. Ibrahim in his response said, the basketball wheelchair users use to bring faulty wheelchairs to his master to sought of try to weld the faulty part for them. He was at that time an apprentice learning the job under his master. He said there was a time when they brought a broken one and he said to himself that he can weld the frame exactly like the original one; so he took one of the original ones and study the frame and was able to weld one form them.
Mr. Ibrahim has also been able to add so value to the two tyre motor bike to make it three tyres for use by the physically disables. That is, a physically disabled person can buy a motor bike and send to him to convert it into disability friendly one for the persons use.
He therefore made an appeal to the public to come and support to make some of the wheelchairs and the motor bikes for affordable prices for the physically disables who cannot afford to import disability friendly cars and scooters to have an alternative.
See video for more information.
To conclude, the visit was very successful except that there was no time to do full presentation to the house. We therefore recommend that sponsors extend extra helping hand to get kits/logistics for the various disciplines to help them meet the international standards. We again recommend that the ALL ABILITY SPORTS project will have a segment where we could have one common business in each region that can generate some income weekly, so as to use the proceeds to support cost of transport to and from training. The said project will be run by the disabled persons themselves.
Attached is the detail of the expenses incurred towards the trip.