Southern Zone Basketball League (SOZOBAL) with funding from United General Insurance Company Limited (UGI) and support of Blantyre Wheelchair Basketball (BWB), yesterday, on 30 September 2017, held a clinic for wheelchair basketball at Blantyre Youth Centre. The clinic aimed at refining skills for the sport among players and technical panel and preparing them for the upcoming tournament, which starts in mid-October this year.
According to Chairperson of Wheelchair Basketball, Charles Nyasa, the clinic was the second of its kind and was one of the activities that SOZOBAL planned to execute this year under its major objective of securing the future of this new sport in Malawi.
“As an association, we have taken a step to secure the future of this unique sport in Malawi where we look at wheelchair basketball as not only a mode of therapy but also a form of recreation,” Nyasa said.
He further urged people to come in large numbers to watch the upcoming tournament.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for UGI, Bywell Chiwoni highlighted that their company’s interest in wheelchair basketball is a way of giving back to the society that has been insuring with them for over 40 years.
“This is a thank you to the society for insuring with us over the years. Wheelchair basketball is a unique and new sport in Malawi, and as far as UGI is concerned, we are committed to develop it”, Said Chiwoni, who latter disclosed that, as the most innovative insurer, the company does not intend to gain anything from this sponsorship other than giving a token of appreciation.
The clinic was a huge success in such a way that content and practical demonstration were both satisfactory. Most of the participants hailed from Blantyre, Mulanje, Zomba and Chikwawa.
When asked if the players were ready to participate in international games, the instructor, Chiko Magomero, rushed to say that the sport is phenomenon in the country.
“To tell you that these players are ready to participate in international games would be a lie. This is a newly introduced sport in Malawi and is different from traditional basketball. Therefore, we cannot look at international level at this foundation stage. However, we are taking steps in time. At the moment, we need proper equipment such as wheelchairs, basketball courts and so on”, concluded Magomero.
Earlier this year, UGI pumped in 3.5 million kwacha through SOZOBAL in support of wheelchair basketball. Since then, SOZOBAL has been holding wheelchair basketball events that comprised trainings, clinics, friendly matches and tournaments.
UGI is one of the leading insurance companies in Malawi and has recently gained popularity among its competitors following introduction of packages such as Autosave and Mobile Office.