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RIzwan's Activity Reports

Milestone Wins National Bank Wheelchair Users Cricket Tournament 2013, Multan, Pakistan

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Team Players: Rizwan Ijaz, Anees Ahmad, Faryad Shehbaz, Shafiq Ur Rehman, Kamran Yousaf, Naureel Abbas, Akmal Ali, Hussnain Raza, Muhammad Iqbal, Umer Pervaiz, Amanat Ali, Shafi Ullah

Team Manager: Asher Virk Team Coach: Kamran Saleem Team Physio: Zahid Ismail

Sports for persons with disabilities also adaptive sports are sports played by persons with a disability including physical and intellectual disabilities. As many of these based on existing sports modified to meet the needs of persons with a disability, they are sometimes referred to as adapted sports. However, not all disabled sports are adapted; several sports that have been specifically created for persons with a disability have no equivalent in able-bodied sports. Disability exists in four categories: physical, mental, permanent and temporary.

Organized sport for athletes with a disability is generally divided into three broad disability groups: the deaf, people with physical disabilities, and people with intellectual disabilities. Each group has a distinct history, organization, competition program, and approach to sport in the world.

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Formal international competition in deaf sport began with the 1924 Paris Silent Games, organized by the Comité International des Sports des Sourds. CISS (The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf). These games evolved into the modern Deaflympics, governed by the CISS. The CISS maintains separate games for deaf athletes based on their numbers, their special communication needs on the sports field, and the social interaction that is a vital part of sports.

Organized sport for persons with physical disabilities developed out of rehabilitation programs. Following the Second World War, in response to the needs of large numbers of injured ex-service members and civilians, sport was introduced as a key part of rehabilitation. Sport for rehabilitation grew into recreational sport and then into competitive sport. The pioneer of this approach was Sir Ludwig Guttmann of the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. In 1948, while the Olympic Games were being held in London, he organized a sports competition for wheelchair athletes at Stoke Mandeville. This was the origin of the Stoke Mandeville Games, which evolved into the modern Paralympic Games. Currently, Paralympic Sport is governed by the International Paralympic Committee, in conjunction with a wide range of other international sport organizations.

Sport for persons with physical disabilities began to be organized in the US in the late 1960s through Disabled Sports USA, Disabled Sports USA was established in 1967 by disabled military veterans to help rehabilitate the war injured returning from Vietnam and originally named the National Amputee Skiers Association. Since then, Disabled Sports USA has become one of the largest national multi-sport, multi-disability organizations in the United States, serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth and adults annually.

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Since 1988, the International Olympic Committee has chosen to validate Disabled Sports (physical disabilities) and incorporate it as a part of the Games: the staging of the Paralympic Games immediately follows the Olympic Games. This scheduling helps to foster greater interest in disabled sports. An investigation published on a Swiss website has shown that more and more International Sports Federations list disabled athletes than any other sportsmen or sportswomen.

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A wide range of sports have been adapted to be played by people with various disabilities, different sports are practiced at different levels; for example, not all sports in the Paralympic movement are part of the Paralympic Games. In addition, many sports are practiced by persons with a disability outside the formal sports movements. Like other countries disability movement is promising in Pakistan, concerning Independent Living there is positive change in the lives of persons with disabilities; awareness level both in disabled persons and their families has increased since the inception of independent living philosophy by Milestone society for the special persons in the year 2001.

Milestone incepted the sports activities for persons with disabilities years back by organizing different sports events and supported other DPOs (Disabled Persons Organizations) to take part and organize such events for persons with disabilities. In this way sports for persons with disabilities were promoted and it is happy to note that sports activities are organized in different cities of the country and this year the first decade of Wheelchair Cricket is being celebrated in Pakistan. Wheelchair Cricket is the most played and liked sports among persons with disabilities in the country and there are 6 promising wheelchair cricket teams including Multan, Mirpurkhas, Mardan, Karachi, Dir and Milestone. These teams often arrange tournament in their respective cities where interesting and crucial matches are played, no doubt in professional manners.

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Society for special persons (Disabled Persons Organization Multan organized Wheelchair Cricket Tournament in Multan from 2nd March to 3rd March 2013 where 6 Wheelchair Cricket Teams from different cities of Pakistan including Multan Tigers, Milestone Lions, Mardan Panthers, Mirpurkhas Zebras, Karachi Dolphins and Dir Eagles.

These teams are replete with wonderful players who play quality and match winning innings. The teams were given with warm welcome by the host Multan Tigers on 1st March, 2013 where press conference was arranged to highlight and aware the media about the rights of persons with disabilities in general and in sports activities as well.

The teams were divided in two pools as Pool A and Pool B as per rules pre-match meeting among Team Captains was observed. The pool matches play started on 2nd March spring morning, each pool had to play three matches to filter 4 teams for Semi Final. Interesting and crucial matches were played in both pools and after these 6 pool matched 4 teams qualified for the Semi Final including Multan Tigers and Karachi Dolphins from Pool A and Mardan Panthers and Milestone Lions from Pool B. These 4 teams had to play Semi Finals the next morning against each pool.

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The 1st Semi Final was played between Multan Tigers and Mardan Panthers where Mardan Panthers defeated Multan Tigers after a closed match and it is just because of the match winning wonderful inning by Mr. Asad Ullah who really plays like a panther, roaring at the pitch to grab sixes and boundaries. It was really an interesting and worth watching Semi Final that inspired the audience as both teams have experienced past as for as wheelchair cricket is concerned. Mardan Panthers qualified for Final from Pool B. The 2nd Semi Final was played between Karachi Dolphins and Milestone Lions and in was interesting match concerning the good play from new emerging Karachi Dolphins team but Milestone Lions being the experienced and replete with skillful bowlers and bats defeated the opponent and qualified for Final where they had to face Mardan Panthers who were ready to defeat and pocket the cup.

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The crucial Final was played between Mardan Panthers and Multan Lions, winning the toss Milestone decided to bat first and scored 126 runs including wonderful inning by Mr. Akmal who scored 95 runs with throwing the ball out of boundary for times and again. Mardan had to chase 127 runs to raise the champion’s cup and Mr. Asad Ullah roared at the pitch and match went too close, Milestone bowlers were facing hard times by Asadullah as he was playing the match winning play. In the last over only 13 runs were required and Asadullah was on strike facing Milestone Captain Mr. Rizwan, both the captains facing each other, few runs and balls away to raise the cup. These were historic moments and it is no doubt that Rizwan did not let Asadullah roar more and his Over stood as match winning for Milestone Lions.

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Milestone Lions Wins Wheelchair Cricket Tournament 2013. Prizes were distributed among the Winners and the Runners Up. Mr. Rizwan from Milestone Lions was announced as the Man of Series and Mr.Akmal from Milestone Lions as the Man of the Match.

We are thankful to the Society for Special Persons Multan,Mr. Ijaz Shah and Mr. Afzal Sipra for organizing and hosting such a wonderful event for persons with disabilities that would always remain fresh in the history pages of disability movement in Pakistan.

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Rizwan Ijaz
(Pakistan, Participant in the 13th program)

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