Kajang — 9 April 2019: More than 100 players went behind the wheel to win a total cash prize of RM2,472 and sponsored merchandises in the wheelchair basketball competition at It’s OK to be U campaign on 31 March 2019.
Held at Pusat Rekreasi JKKK Batu 11 Cheras, It’s OK to be U campaign drew the attention of the public to the disabled group mainly through wheelchair basketball competition as well as exhibitions, game booths and lucky draws.
Showing the support was Patron of Malaysian Paralympic Council Tun Jeanne Abdullah who joined to officiate the event. Other than Tun Jeanne, the opening ceremony was also attended by Chairperson of the Malaysian Wheelchair Basketball Federation (MWBF) Dato’ Hoh Hee Lee, Malaysian Paralympic Council Secretary-General Siti Zaharah Tan Sri Abdul Khalid, Secretary of MWBF Dr Ang Kean Koo, Olympic Council Malaysia Sport Manager Mohd Rafee bin Majid, Senior OKU (Orang Kelainan Upaya) staff of Beautiful Gate Foundation (BGF) Thomas Yeoh, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, It’s OK to be U Chairperson Kan Wai Wen, Director of ENGAGE Simon Galimberti, UTAR Faculty of Creative Industries Dean Dr David Tneh Cheng Eng, staff, students and the public.
Prior to the opening ceremony, Malaysia Wheelchair Basketball League (Balakong Circuit) 2019 was held in conjunction with the event. The competition was participated by professional wheelchair basketball players including the national team.
“The main goal of our event aligns with the efforts to achieve one of the sustainable development goals (SDG) – SDG 10, which is to reduce inequalities. Two out of 20 human beings are disabled. Hence, we should practice inclusion in order to stop discrimination against the disabled. It does not matter if your effort is big or small, as long as it still helps to create a world where social inclusion is a norm for everyone. I hope this event will be inspirational to everyone to treat OKUs with love and equality,” said Kan.
Clarifying the idea of equality, Prof Choong said, “Equality does not mean that everyone should be given the same opportunity, instead, it refers to a support system that backs people up to ensure they can reach the equal level of goals and opportunities just like the rest of the society.”
The event proceeded with the main agenda where the teams went head-to-head in a seven minute wheelchair basketball match. Both OKUs and interested participants teamed up in a group of three. They put their torso and arm strength and skills to manoeuvre the wheels and ball simultaneously.
A player from Imperia Institute of Technology, Chin Kian Hon agreed that wheelchair basketball is at a whole new level. “Teamwork is very important and it requires a lot of energy and great techniques because it is totally different from regular basketball. It was such an eye-opener to me and I am proud of what they do,” said the 23-year-old professional basketball player.
Siti Noor Mawarnie Zulkifeli from Universiti Putra Malaysia said, “Today I had the chance to try the wheelchair basketball. That was my first experience and I truly appreciate it. Joining such competition helps people to be aware of the capabilities of the OKUs. I realised that they do some things better than an able-bodied person.”
Other than the competition, free health check-ups, and food and games booths were also provided for families.
The result of the competition is as follows:
First Place (Cash prize of RM1,995 and Brooks merchandises)
Chai Khem Fei
Chin Ze Liang
Cheong Jian Ye
Second Place (Cash prize of RM312 and Brooks merchandises)
Nur Hazimah binti Mat
Wong Mei Chyn
Third Place (Cash prize of RM165 and Brooks merchandises)
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) 拉曼大学