Arriving in Peru

Posted: 25th September 2014 by dan in Uncategorized

Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide, with Dan Altan, Jacob Tyree and Max Amenero began their Peru Project adventures yesterday (September 23, 2014) departing for Lima, Peru. All three were able to arrive safely into Lima, with Jacob arriving a few hours ahead of Max and Dan, waiting for them to clean customs/immigration together. Although there was much concern and worry about customs agents demanding a hefty per/chair fee, the group somehow managed to circumvent the intrusive attention of customs agents and clear all 11 sport wheelchairs without any issues whatsoever. The three then met up with Nancy Velez, the President of the partnering non-profit in Peru, Corazones Valientes Del Norte, to await an early morning flight to Chiclayo.

The group, now exhausted by being awake nearly 24 hours since their trip began, then had to figure out how to get seventeen wheelchairs (including one power chair) and luggage from Lima to Chiclayo. After a few uncertain hours of ´speaking´with airline staff, translating English to Spanish and back again, they got approval to take all chairs and baggage with them on their flight. We greatly appreciate the generosity of LAN Airlines and especially their very supervisors/managers, especially at four a.m.

The crew finally made it to their final destination of Chiclayo where they were greeted with several of Nancy and Max´s friends and family. The wheelchairs and baggage were packed up in several different vehicles for a trip to the gym where the clinic was to be held. The ´stadium´ had many excited Corazones Valientes members, eagerly awaiting to get a look at their ´new´ wheelchairs.

After some group and individual pictures with the chairs and WAW representatives, the group dropped off their luggage at the wonderful hotel Casa Andina and  headed out for some much needed local Chiclayo food. The first stop for lunch was at a small diner located on a street corner where they serve a dish consisting of a mashed-potato like ball slathered in a homemade yellow egg cream sauce. After downing this delicious carb rich platter the group went to another street corner where a local woman serves ceviche to a constant throng of hungry customers. They then met Nancy for a larger, more formal lunch in a small town outside of the city. Nancy seemed determined to fatten up the group prior to the energy demands needed for the next two grueling days of the Project. Some of tht stored energy was needed to sit patiently in the car while Mariella (a close friend of Max, and the driver for the day) went to look for someone to give a jump start to the car…….somehow the lights were left on during lunch, draining the battery, so the car battery would not start. However, the car battery had other plans. Luckily one of the taxi moto carts (a three-wheeled modified motorcycle cab) came to the rescue, with the promise of monetary compensation being the motivator.

Just when everyone was back at the hotel and settled in, thinking that after 37 hours of being awake they could finally get some shut-eye and much needed rest, an opportunity arose that was very hard to refuse…..a chance to sweat, expend energy and aggressively push up and down a basketball court, playing ball with the local team. Dan, Max, and Jacob packed up the car again and headed to the gym where a few of the local players were holding a practice. Dan and Jacob were able to pitch in coaching advice, intensity, and make the practice a little more exciting for everyone.

Even before totally settling in and resting up, the Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide ¨Project Peru¨ group enjoyed all sorts of experiences, and it´s not even the end of day 1!

Project Peru — About to Begin

Posted: 23rd September 2014 by dan in Uncategorized

Max Amenero, Jacob Tyree, and Dan Altan are getting ready for their flight(s) to Chiclayo, Peru. As of Monday evening, all 3 are excited and looking forward to a successful Project. The 11 wheelchairs, which will be donated to Corazones Valientes in Chiclayo, are waiting anxiously to arrive at their new home in Peru. As with all such trips, a lot of uncertainty, difficulties and surprises will need to be dealt with and experienced. Wishing all a safe journey and many rewarding experiences.



Mi nombre es MaxAmenero, tengo 52 años, nací en Perú y resido en los Estados Unidos desde el año 1978; soy una persona con limitaciones físicas debido a la poliomielitis que me atacó a los 7 meses de nacido. Practico el deporte sobre silla de ruedas desde hace 34 años, siendo el básquetbol sobre silla de ruedas donde encontré mi deporte favorito. Actualmente soy el entrenador del equipo de básquetbol sobre silla de ruedas “CRS HOTWHEELS”, equipo que ya fue campeón nacional en el 2007 en la división 3. Me siento afortunado de contar con el apoyo de mi esposa, mis 4 hijos y toda mi familia para poder servir a quien me necesite y sobre todo ayudar a las personas menos afortunadas en todo aspecto incluyendo el deportivo.

My name is Max Amenero. I am 52 years old, born in Peru and live in the United States since 1978; I am a person with physical limitations due to polio that attacked me at 7 months of age. I have practiced the sport for 34 years, making wheelchair basketball my favorite sport. I am currently the head coach of a wheelchair basketball team ,”CRS HOTWHEELS” a team that was the 2007, National Champion in Division 3 .I feel fortunate to have the support of my wife, 4 children and all my family to help those who need me and especially to help the less fortunate in all aspects including sports.

Jacob TyreeMy name is Jacob Tyree. I am from Roanoke, Virginia. I graduated in May from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Communications with a Concentration in Technology. I played wheelchair basketball under the coaching of Dave Kiley in Charlotte, North Carolina in the NWBA Junior division until graduating High School. We won the 2009 JV National Championship. After graduation I played under Michael Frogley at the University of Illinois until his leave in Spring 2013. Matt Buchi took the head coach position for my final season at college. During the Fall of 2013 I was selected for the U23 USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. The following January I attended my first USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Tryout where I was selected as an alternate for the class 1.0 position. I went with the USA team to Istanbul this May to compete in a Friendly competition for my first international games. As for my coaching experience, I ran wheelchair basketball camps every summer at Illinois one for teaching the fundamentals, and another ‘Elite’ camp aimed for coaching the top junior athletes in the world. In February 2013 I went with Michael Frogley to coach disabled veterans at the US Naval Base in San Diego. The following August I was selected to be one of two international coaches to oversee J-Camp located in Tsukuba, Japan. I plan to continue my individual training to peruse my goal of being a medalist with the USA Wheelchair Basketball Team, but also striving to learn new approaches to the coaching strategies around the world sharing my knowledge with others to the best of my ability.

Articles about Project Nepal

Posted: 8th June 2013 by WAW Editor in Exciting News

Check out this great article from our recent trip to Nepal and the project that we did there.

Mike Artiel _Business 360

Himalayan TV Interview

Posted: 7th June 2013 by WAW Editor in Exciting News

Nepal Project Video

Posted: 3rd June 2013 by WAW Editor in Exciting News

A special thanks to our sponsors

Posted: 17th May 2013 by greg in Uncategorized
Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air

Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air

Dragon Air way cool logo

Dragon Air way cool logo

Jim Click

Jim Click



There is little doubt that the ability to put on an event such as this on the other side of the planet is not feasible without several very generous sponsors.

WAW would like for formally thank Jim Click automotive that supplied air miles that enabled travel to our destination.  Also to Cathay Pacific/Dragon air for flying all 11 donated wheelchairs to Kathmandu for us.  We would like to thank Arizona PVA for their continued support in the local Arizona community, as well as donating so many wheelchair parts that were necessary when rebuilding these chairs before they were ready.  Also, to Seth Arsenau of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for donating that big box of axles that allowed so many of PVA’s wheels to attach to our wheelchairs!

Also a special thanks to Go Steady canes and crutches for the donation of a pair of crutches and set of crutch tips that were left at the Heart of Bhaktapur Guest House.  I know Dan can attest to the quality of these items as it helped him navigate the rustic streets of Bhaktapur!

Please see the attached pictures where we are joined by the Nepali contingency in our gracious appreciation.

Nepal Project – Clinic Day 1

Posted: 16th May 2013 by dan in Uncategorized

A brief description of the facility and our daily general schedule may assist in visualizing the event in Kathmandu.

The 3 day event, from May 10-12, was held at the “Covered Hall”…..the same facility the National Nepalese Men’s Basketball team uses to practice and play games at. The court is full size and offers spectator seats on both sides, with 2 hoops. Unfortunately the wood flooring is quite neglected and provides an uneven, bumpy surface.

The “start-tea-lunch-end” times for all 3 days of the KTM “clinic” and “tournament” were scheduled to be the same….Start at 10:00 a.m., Tea break from 11:00-11:15 a.m., Lunch from 1:00-2:00 p.m., End at 4:00 p.m.

Although Dan had assisted in moving the wheelchairs the day before to the Covered Hall from an NGO storage area where they were being held since being cleared through customs by Michael Rosenkrantz and Bharat. The chairs were in need of some attention…….pumping up of tires, making sure the right wheels were on the right frames, tightening of nuts, etc… After being picked up by a driver from Nature Trails Trekking and Tours, Greg and Dan arrived at the covered Hall at 8:30 a.m. to ensure having ample time to make adjustments/repairs. Most of the tires needed air, some wheels had to be switched around, upholstery reattached……fairly basic stuff except for the fact that many of the tires had Presto valve tubes which need an adapter in order to work with a regular pump. Unfortunately WAW did not have an adapter with them and the small hand pump available on site only accommodated the more traditional valve. Thinking this would only be a small hurdle to overcome, we approached all of the organizers, the volunteers, Michael, Bharat, and a few other individuals in the vicinity. Apparently WAW had brought a very alien type of tube on some of the wheels as NO ONE had ever seen a Presto valve, and sincerely believed that no such “adapter” or pump existed in all of Nepal. Being positive and “can-do” thinking men, Greg  and Dan tried to explain what was needed and where to find it to one of the outstanding volunteers, Akosh. With the starting time drawing closer, the opening ceremony dignitaries arriving and wanting to check out the donated chairs and speak with the WAW team, Dan and Greg were still busy dealing with repair issues, and more than a little concerned about having several chairs be totally out of commission with low/flat tires. With minutes to go before the start of the Opening Ceremonies, Akosh came to the rescue by showing up with a Presto valve compatible pump!

There were a number of dignitaries, and all took a few minutes to make a speech about the importance of the event, to thank the many sponsors, the need for inclusion and acceptance of the disabled, to thank Michael Rosenkrantz for all his hard work, and other dignitary-type comments. On behalf of WAW, Dan made a short speach thanking all the participants for coming, the sponsors involved, thanking Michael Rosenkrantz, and extending the hope that the wheelchairs being donated would help promote adaptive sports not only with the Nepal Wheelchair Rugby Association but in all of Nepal.

Once the speeches were concluded, it was time for tea. After which the real “clinic” would begin.

At approximately11:30 a.m., once tea was done, the participants, ALL 60 OF THEM — FROM THE VERY YOUNG TO THE VERY OLD, FROM THOSE IN HOSPITAL-TYPE WHEELCHAIRS TO THOSE IN LOCAL SPORT CHAIRS, GIRLS & BOYS, MEN & WOMEN, were gathered and informed by WAW that moving forward the event schedule would begin and end on time…..not on Nepali-time but actual clock time. This was done because of many comments by people that things in Nepal operate on “Nepali-time”, meaning with little regard to actual time. WAW felt it important to stress the need for punctuality and discipline from the start.

For about 15 minutes, Raj (Coach of the Army wheelchair basketball team) conducted stretching exercises. The balance of time until lunch (1:00 p.m.), Greg and Dan conducted suicide drills, games of tag, sharks and minnows. Once everyone was thoroughly warmed up and somewhat sweaty, it was time for lunch.

Lunch, much to the surprise of WAW, was prepared on-site by white-aproned, chef-hat wearing culinary school students, and needless to say was quite delicious.

From 2:00 to 3:30, the group broke up into 3 stations manned by Raj (dribbling and passing), Greg (shooting), and Dan (exposure to the new chairs). Each group changed stations once every 30 minutes. Everybody getting into the new chairs were delighted by how easy it was to push and manuever them. In many cases it took a few requests to get them out of the new chairs. Even the ones that were initially hesitant to get into them, smiles and laughter and enjoyment were in abundance!

From 3:30-4:00, the group broke out into 2 groups for a lay-up competition. With the combination of somewhat experienced players, beginners, and people who had never shot a basketball before in their lives, the lay-up competition proved to be entertaining, challenging, and surprisingly very closely competitive. The winning side only won by a margin of a few lay-ups.

The day drew to a close, with many people still beaming with smiles and gushing with appreciation and thanks, in Nepali and broken English. The only concern for the next few days was the threat of a city-wide “Banda” (general strike) on Sunday (Day 3) called for by one of the many minority political parties unhappy with one thing or another the Government decided to do. The fear is that IF a Banda occurs, it shuts down EVERYTHING, including operation of public and private vehicles, and thus there may be no way for participants to attend the last day of the Nepal Project!

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.