Dubai [United Arab Emirates], June 14 (TN/WAM): The United Arab Emirates marked its first step in women’s wheelchair basketball when it hosted a friendly – UAE A vs. UAE B – played on the sidelines of the IWBF Wheelchair basketball World Championships here on Tuesday.
The teams were formed with women players from the GCC countries that included Bahrain, Yemen, and UAE, with the UAE A team winning 24-6 against UAE B in the exhibition match.
Alphia James scored 10 points for the team, while Roba Al Omari scored eight points for the team.
“We enjoyed a lot. We tried to score as many points as we can. I always wanted to play a wheelchair basketball match at an international level. And today my dream came true in UAE,” said Al Omari, who wants to go back and inspire more women players in Bahrain.
“I have been playing wheelchair basketball since 2013. But as there are not many women players in Bahrain, we are not able to form a team,” added the player who also competes in Para Athletics and Para-Badminton.
She further shared that the Bahrain Paralympic Committee is planning to have a women’s team, maybe a 3×3 team soon.
“Within a short time, we made a good time. Everyone was very supportive,” said James, a Dubai Club for People of Determination trainee.
Siham Alrasheedy, an international Para athlete in F57/58 and trainee at Dubai Club for People of Determination said history was made today for UAE women’s wheelchair basketball.
“Today, I played the first wheelchair basketball match; and it was an amazing experience. I even scored a goal. I hope we get more opportunities like this to play.”
“Today was the start of the wheelchair basketball movement for UAE women. I hope we can have a team and play in Fazza Championships,” added Alrasheedy, who added that the team trained for three weeks.
Alrasheedy now gets ready for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games.
Meanwhile, Majid Al Usaimi, Director of the Championships and Asian Paralympic Committee President was all praise for the women for showcasing an amazing exhibition match. “This match was the first step, a kick-start to our vision of having a women’s wheelchair team in UAE. This was one of the outcomes of the ongoing World Championships. I hope more women players are inspired to play the game.”
Don Perriman, International Wheelchair Basketball Federation secretary general in Asia-Oceania zone gave wings to the hopes of the players when he said that the world body plans to have developmental camps for women in the West Asian region.
“We always try to create opportunities for players to play and this game was all about that, providing a platform for the GCC women to play the sport and inspire other women in the region,” he added. (TN/WAM)