Nepal Project – Clinic Day 2

Posted: 16th May 2013 by dan in Uncategorized

The second day started promptly at 10:00 a.m. with everyone from the day before plus a few others. Raj once again conducted stretching exercises for approximately 15 minutes, and Dan and Greg conducted suicide drills, games of tag and a few laps around the court until tea time at 11:00. Although not intended, in doing the suicide drills, a couple of participants almost took the drill name literally on both days…..meaning that a couple of the participants fell backwards during the part of the drill where you have to push backward, not being very careful to see who they were running into. Some fell harder than others, forgetting to pull their heads forward as they fell. Fortunately they all rubbed their heads, brushed off the embarrassment, and rejoined the drill with enthusiasm, and no severe injury.

From 11:15 until lunch at 1:00 p.m., Greg and Dan discussed/demonstrated fouls — defensive fouls, offensive fouls, chair fouls, body fouls — and made a concerted attempt to show, demonstrate and conduct 3 on 2 drills. With over 60 participants of greatly varying degrees of skill/physical ability and huge differences in chair mobility, it would be an understatement to say it was a challenge. However, Greg and Dan both agree that by the end of the drill, a glimmer of comprehension and competency began to take hold. To their credit, all the participants paid attention and made a sincere, dedicated attempt to follow instructions which were being translated by hard working, over-used volunteer student translators. Being the local, well known, English speaking coach, Raj was frequently and loudly summoned by Dan (and Greg), to the point that he was asked to go in two directions/do two things at the same time. Much to his credit and with thanks from Dan and Greg, Raj obliged ALL requests with a never-ending smile and sincere desire to be of assistance. In short, Raj rocked!!

From 2:00-2:30, Dan and Greg demonstrated and discussed falling techniques and the importance of being able to, trying to, get up on one’s own power. Since it was noted that disabled people in Nepal appeared to get an abundance of physical assistance, to the point of stifling independence, WAW felt it was important to discuss the importance and value of self-reliance and independence. Answering questions and using participants to also demonstrate, falling and getting up techniques proved to be a very popular topic for all.

From 2:30-4:00 Wheelchair Soccer, or rather Wheelchair Futbol, was discussed and played. However, in keeping with the extreme degree of preparedness that WAW at times demonstrates, it was only noticed at lunch that appropriate balls to play with were missing, and maybe non-existent. Once again Akosh, the amazing, was summoned to find and procure an appropriate ball(s) for the afternoon event. In spite of Saturday being the nation-wide day off for most, and most stores being closed, Akosh once again came to the rescue and showed up with two, smaller-than-desired, softer-than-regulation balls. With no other choices, except to use basketballs, they had to suffice.

The volunteers marked off the 5′ goal area, taped off the 10′ goal crease, and two half-court futbol fields were ready to go. The group was divided into teams and Futbol Soccer was played, somewhat informally, for the first time ever, in not only Kathmandu, but in all of Nepal! Surprisingly, to the great joy of Greg and Dan, the game was not only well received, but loved and played enthusiastically by all. The players played so hard, that with 15 minutes left before the end of the day, out of concern for the well being of the players in Dan’s (not Greg’s) futbol field, Michael Rosenkrantz took it upon himself to enforce and ensure the players, in the middle of their game, took a “juice-box” break (Mango being the flavor of the day) to appropriately hydrate.

It is WAW’s opinion that with the built in facility limitations in Nepal, the variety-of-disability inclusiveness of futbol (soccer), the potential to compete at an international level, wheelchair futbol (soccer) may be/should be a sport as widely played/promoted throughout Nepal as any other.