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 “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Sports”

Bugesera Wheelchair Basketball Team in the Pitch enjoying the game

Wheelchair basketball is game played by people who live with disabilities to walk properly and those with walking difficulties while wheelchair tennis is game played by people with walking difficulties and play that game sitting on wheelchair.

On 16th/September/2023 around 10h30 AM at Bugesera stadium, I had a conversation with coach of wheelchair basketball in Bugesera district KAYITARE Thierry and captain of wheelchair tennis NSANZINTWARI Muhamad, we had a little conversation on how they play games in wheelchairs and KAGABO Nathan who played football in Nyanza district

For KAYITARE Thierry who is a coach of wheelchair basketball, he told us how he started his journey, he studied in Nyanza Technical school in Nyanza district studying trade of  electronics and telecommunication in 2016, he also did his college in IPRC Gishari in faculty of electronics and telecommunication now time he is a coach of Bugesera wheelchair basketball. He started to play football but he was interested in basketball as his hobby game, he got a chance to become coach now days he is happy because of that.

KAYITARE Thierry on the field providing trainings to the Bugesera Wheelchair Basketball

His parents became his first motivation for sports and also gave him money to start trainings of becoming a coach. Thierry is one of the best coach who train wheelchair Basketball. He motivates his players by telling them ‘’let your passion drive you and let your determination fuel your actions and your became capable of achieving great things as long as you believe in yourself and stay committed, success is not destination it’s a journey keep moving forward and never give up”.

Journalist Djemimah with Kayitare Thierry the coach of Bugesera Wheelchair Basketball

I also interviewed Nsanzintwari Mohammed who plays Wheelchair Tennis. he is a father of 3 children, he lives in Kicukiro District, he is one of the best in wheelchair tennis while he is living with walking disability. Most of the times he plays in IPRC Kicukiro, but now days he is taking practices in Nyamata Wheelchair Tennis Team. Wheelchair Tennis is different from wheelchair basketball and Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Tennis is not only a game but a relaxation place. Wheelchair Tennis requires a lot of energy and when you fail or win is on your own behalf not for the team. when you don’t put more effort and also make a lot of practices you can not know this game. Tennis is a good game but it requires commitment in playing it.

Nsanzintwari Mohammed in the playing pitch of wheelchair tennis

This game requires at least three times in a week to do practices and also motivates immobile people who are still in lonely to come out from that zone because they have to know that they are normal people though they can not walk appropriately” Nsanzintwari Mohammed said.  He also gave advice to many people to come and watch the matches played by their courages hence encouraging them to continue playing and practicing more. He motivated his fellow members by saying that ‘’disability is not a hindrance to success, the disability you have does not define you and lastly is that the greatest disability it the fear of failure”.

He also talked about the problems that he faced in his journey whereby sometimes he doesn’t have transport and when he gets it, it is not enough because of long distance to reach where matches take place. He finished by asking help from the government of Rwanda to give them more wheelchairs and transport vehicle that help them during their competitions.

Kagabo Nathan is a 21 years old Rwandan Youth, he is the best one in football players. He did his college in  Nyabihu  District in Groupe  Scolaire de Rambura Garcon and his went in IPRC Musanze in faculty of water engineering, now days he plays in Academic Football Club under 25 years.

He started playing for a local mateur team, at the age of eight. His father worked as driver of Nyanza Football Club. At the age of 12 years, he started to join the youth team, in his professional football career in Nyanza District, Nathan was known for his speed and agility on the field, he had a great sense of timing and could make quick decision that often led to a goal.

Kagabo Nathan one the best in Nyanza Football Club

He is also known for being a team player and worked well with his classmates to create opportunities for scoring. Despite of his talent, he had faced many challenges in his carrier, he had to overcame poverty, discrimination, and lack of proper trainings. One day during crucial game against a tough opponent ,he was injured in first half. He had taken a hard tackle from the opposing team‘s defender and he had to be carried off field, everyone thought that the game was over for team but Nathan refused to give up. He received medical attention and decided to re-enter the game in second half. His team mate was amazed at his dedication and determination. He played through the pain and scored a crucial goal that lead to Nyanza Team victory.

Nathan motivated his team by saying that ‘’success is not final and failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts. He also said don’t watch the clock , do what it does keep going and the only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today’’.

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