The Nepali Army Wheelchair basketball team should be at INVICTUS 2017, the games for the “unconquered"

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Soldiers are human being, we should not forget that. While many of them die in the battle court and many others returned with injuries, disabilities and mental health problems.

The Invictus games want to offer a chance to use sports to bring a new light, a new hope in the lives of service man that put their lives on the line to serve their countries.

This was the idea of Prince Harry, himself a former soldier that few years back, created a coalition of good willing to organize the first edition of the Invictus games, held in London in 2014.

There is a not for profit organization, the Invictus Foundation with Harry as Patron, in charge of the games.

Quite few people noticed it but at the beginning of May, a new edition of the Invictus games were held, this time in Orlando, Florida, under the honorary chairmanship of former American president George W. Bush.

More than a dozen of national teams attended, all, with the exception of Afghanistan, representing western countries.

The athletes participated in 10 competitive events including, archery, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis.

We often read articles in the international press telling gruesome stories of soldiers who survive war but at a very high prize.

The reality is that the international news portray the agonizing stories of western soldiers while those of soldiers from the so called South of the world are often ignored.

Hopefully in future the Invictus Games will become more and more inclusive with more developing countries sending their soldiers.

For example, just imagine the following: wouldn’t be incredible for the Nepali Army wheelchair basketball team to be part of the next editions of the games?

Prince Harry recently visited Nepal and he loved it and who knows, nothing is impossible considering that the ties between Nepal and UK are very strong plus we are celebrating the 200th anniversaries of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

If there is good will, everything is doable and it is not really unthinkable finding ways for the Nepali Army to be in Toronto next year where a new edition of Invictus Games will be held.

Going abroad is not a goal itself. Indeed, there are so many others things that could be done to better help the team, considered the strongest wheelchair basketball team in the country.

But creating the conditions for the team to get involved in international events or clinics would offer a huge boost to the entire wheelchair basketball movement in Nepal.

I am saying this because the Army team is a true inspiration for all other wheelchair basketball players all over Nepal.

All the wheelchair basketball teams in Nepal look at their friends in the Army as model of winning sportsmanship.

Supporting the Army team is important because having a stronger team, recognized internationally and able to get international exposure, will definitely help other teams increase the level of their games.

With new teams coming up, the game is getting more and more competitive. Right now a wheelchair basketball tournament is being undertaken in Jumla and another one in Pokhara.

On 28th of May, the Turkish Airlines ENGAGE Empowering League, the first wheelchair basketball championship to be held in Nepal, will start.

The Army team is the clear favorite to win but as wheelchair basketball is growing, there is real contest going on among other teams on which of them will be the first to beat the Army. This never happened before but this could change in future.

We need more opportunities to develop the wheelchair basketball movement and by default the entire disability sport sector in the country. Ensuring the participation of the army team at Invictus 2017 could be one of them.

The National Army with a little support from Harry and the British Government could really make this happen.


Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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