Africa’s wheelchair basketball stars to duke it out in Tongaat this weekend

Home » Africa’s wheelchair basketball stars to duke it out in Tongaat this weekend

An international sporting extravaganza is coming to Tongaat on Saturday (November 18) and the action is going to last all next week.

The Tongaat Indoor Sports Centre is all set to come alive as wheelchair basketball teams representing Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Zimbabwe will compete to secure the only African slot for the 2018 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships taking place in Hamburg, Germany in August.

The sport is one of the most popular among athletes with disabilities, and Wheelchair Basketball South Africa (WBSA) in conjunction with both the eThekweni and KwaDukuza Municipalities are encouraging all locals to come down to the Tongaat Indoor Indoor Sports Centre and get behind the South African “Sasol Amawheelaboys and Amawheelagirls”.

Wheelchair Basketball South Africa’s Marketing and Communications Head, Gerry Smith told the Courier they want as much local support as possible.

The opening ceremony will start at 5pm on Saturday, with the Amawheelaboys going against Morocco at 6pm. On Sunday the 19th, the Amawheelagirls will take on Zimbabwe at 1pm and the men will follow afterwards against Egypt at 3pm.

In the rest of the week’s pool stages the Amawheelagirls will face Algeria on Monday at 5pm and Kenya on Wednesday at 1pm. On Monday the Amawheelaboys will take on Kenya at 9am and Angola at 7pm, on Tuesday they face Zimbabwe at 7pm and on Wednesday Algeria at 3pm.

Algeria are the reigning African Champions for both men and women, and will arrive as tournament favourites, but will expect a tough challenge from South Africa as well as Morocco. In the women’s competition it is expected that South Africa will give the Algerian women their sternest test.

Wheelchair basketball has had a rich history in South Africa for over 40 years and the South African teams over the years have dominated on the continent, having qualified for all Paralympics, apart from Rio 2016, where both the Algerian Men and Women represented the continent.

The action will culminate on Saturday, November 25 with the first ever Afro 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball Championships, where all the teams will be going head to head in a straight knock out tournament from 9.30am to 1pm.

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