SA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball win Africa Games Silver, set for World Champs

Picture: Wheelchair Basketball South Africa/Facebook.

Source: Eyewitness News (EWN)

South Africa competed at the inaugural African Para Games in Accra, Ghana from 3 to 12 September 2023.

South Africa’s women’s team brought home the silver medal after going down in the final to Algeria 67- 27 and the men finished fifth.

The first African Para Games are an initiative of the International Paralympic Committee and the African Paralympic Committee.

Eyewitness News spoke to Wiseman Kwenza Dlamini, a former national player and now part of the managing team of the South African wheelchair basketball teams, to talk about the competition.

“Both teams did exceptionally well according to the implementation of the culture we are trying to introduce. We were the youngest team in the tournament. Representing our country meant a lot to us and thanks to SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) for everything they have done for us.”

Dlamini pointed out that there was still much work to be done to improve SA’s performance, but the future was looking good for the women’s team, especially in terms of development.

“With the men dropping from position 2 to 5 means we still have a long way to go in maturing the younger players. With the ladies, great performance in the finals against an experienced Algerian team meant that the future is looking good with our development for women in sport and also thanks to Sasol for being there for us.”

This competition served as a last-chance qualifier for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, allowing for the team that finished first place in each category to earn an opportunity to represent Africa at Paris 2024.

“It took us all by surprise to see Ghana upsetting most of the teams. I guess wheelchair basketball is growing in Africa and one day we will have many spots in the Paralympics and World Championships,” said Dlamini of the hosts’ performance at the African Para Games.

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