Coach Jess Markt teaching the beginner players

Coach Jess Markt (centre, in grey) teaching the beginner players

The Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI), in association with the International Red Cross, organised a 10-day workshop on wheelchair basketball earlier this month from the 4th to the 13th of September. Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai was the venue for the workshop, which was attended by players and coaches from around the country, including a special group of aspiring players from Jammu and Kashmir.

A total of 18 classifiers, 16 coaches and 18 referees from across India and Nepal were trained in the level 1 certification course on Wheelchair Basketball. The workshop also saw the participation of 55 players, who were trained by Coach Jess Markt from the USA.

Coach Markt has conducted similar workshops in India in the past. In his last visit to India, he was seen coaching beginners at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in New Delhi. Markt was a college athlete in the USA before being rendered paraplegic as a result of a car accident at age 19. He soon took to wheelchair basketball, fell in love with the game and went on to play for professional teams in the wheelchair basketball league in the USA organised by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, included the Denver Rolling Nuggets and the New York Rollin’ Knicks. Coach Markt is currently actively involved in coaching assignments at all levels and promotion of wheelchair basketball globally. Apart from his work in India, he has also conducted coaching workshops in Afghanistan, the Middle East and other countries.

WBFI President Madhavi Latha (centre) and Coach Jess Markt (right) with school children present at the worksop

WBFI President Madhavi Latha (centre) and Coach Jess Markt (right) with school children present at the workshop

The WBFI intends to organise the first wheelchair basketball national championship in December this year with teams from select states. WBFI President, Madhavi Latha, said that the turnout for the workshop was better than expected and they are confident on the growth of the sport for the differently abled in India. Coach Markt was also pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm of the beginner players, whom he termed as quick learners.

Short films on each of the sessions of the workshop can be viewed below.

Wheelchair Basketball – Classification Course – 4th and 5th Sep. 2015

Wheelchair Basketball – Coaches Course – 6th and 7th Sep. 2015

Wheelchair Basketball – Referees Course – 8th and 9th Sep. 2015

Wheelchair Basketball – Players Workshop – 10th to 13th Sep. 2015

The following short films will help beginner wheelchair basketball players pick up the fundamentals of the game.

Wheelchair Basketball – Skills

Wheelchair Basketball – Fouls

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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