Pains and Gains: Afghan Wheelchair Basketballers Roll beyond Bounds

  • Oct. 25, 2017, China Administration of Sport for Persons with Disabilities, Beijing. The Afghan national wheelchair basketball team, supported by the ICRC, are doing warm-up exercises before their match with the United Arab Emirates.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • The Afghan national wheelchair basketball team, supported by the ICRC, are doing warm-up exercises before their match with the United Arab Emirates. Afghanistan is longing for an international win to boost its morale after losing to China and ROK in the last two group matches.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • Afghanistan plays with the United Arab Emirates in a group match at the 2017 IWBF Asia Oceania Championships. Afghanistan soon lost its slim lead and was overtaken by UAE.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • Afghanistan and UAE are engaged in a real competition. Though the head coach applied a number of substitutes, it didn’t make much difference.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • During their match against the UAE, Afghanistan’s inaccuracy in shooting has left their opponent with more chances to score.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • During their match against the UAE, Afghanistan’s inaccuracy in shooting has left their opponent with more chances to score.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • American Head Coach Jess Markt adjusts tactics and encourages the team though it doesn’t help turn the table. They unfortunately lose the game in the end.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
  • “Afghanistan should not be forgotten,” said Alberto Cairo, head of the ICRC orthopedic program in Afghanistan since 1992 and senior Advisor of the team. “Afghanistan is still in the map. There is not only war in Afghanistan but also sport. I hope this competition helps to give a different opinion of Afghanistan.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
08 November 2017

The Afghan National Wheelchair Basketball team, sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross, participated in the 2017 IWBF Asia Oceania Championships from Oct. 21st -29th, 2017 in Beijing.

This is the second time the team participated in international games since its establishment in 2013 funded by the Afghan Paralympic Committee and supported by the ICRC. Having lost all four matches at the championships in Beijing, the team won recognition for their strive against the limits of physical disabilities.

"Afghanistan should not be forgotten," said Alberto Cairo, head of the ICRC orthopedic program in Afghanistan since 1992 and senior Advisor of the team. "Afghanistan is still in the map. There is not only war in Afghanistan but also sport. I hope this competition helps to give a different opinion of Afghanistan."

The ICRC, who runs seven orthopedic rehabilitation centers in Afghanistan, is working to promote social inclusion of people with disabilities through activities such as vocational training and sports.