History of Sports for Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan:

It is said that the 15% of the total population of Pakistan is disabled persons and this marginalized community still suffers lack of facilitation and proper knowledge of managing lives with disability. In Pakistan, the issue of disability has remained neglected and ignored from all aspects which includes administrative, financial and legal. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) are the most marginalized because they are ‘unseen, unheard and uncounted’ in the country.

Participation in sports comes way after the basic needs, hence in general persons with disability are not considered healthy enough to participate in any outdoor sports. Few people like Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) are still struggling to make amends in the mindset of communities in general by showcasing the talent of PWDs by organizing the sports events.

The purpose of such activities is to elaborate and demonstrate

The Role of DPOs in collaboration with other organization is to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and channelizing the scattered and uncoordinated efforts through some unanimous platform.

Disabled persons organization incepted this idea of sports for persons with disabilities in Pakistan.No doubt sport has value in everyone’s life, but it is even more important in the life of a person with a disability, because it shows empowerment, increases self-esteem and improves social skills.

Wheelchair Cricket Team:

Multan                                Lahore

MirpurKhas                        Mardan

Islamabad                          Karachi

D.G Khan                            Quetta

Women Teams:

Abbottabad                        Lahore

Organizing Committee Meeting:

7th All Pakistan McDonald’s and National Bank Tournament organized by Saaya Association, Disabled Welfare Organization and Milestone Society under the umbrella of CBID network for the Special Persons at Jinnah Stadium Sports Complex Islamabad. Eight men teams from different cities of the country along with two women teams have participated in the event and received a warm welcome on 26th October 2016.

The organizing committee meeting was observed on the similar day morning. In this session, captains from each team participated to draw the rules for the good of the game; the rules for the wheelchair cricket were fixed and mutually agreed.  The belief was refreshed, that people with disabilities aren’t patients, but rather the experts of their own care, and it is their human right to have the same choices and freedoms as any non-disabled counterparts.

Welcome Dinner and Fun Night

A heartily welcome dinner along with fun &music festivity was organized by the organizing committee where representatives from the national assembly, INGOs, NGOs and civil servants participated. All the teams and their official were present and enjoyed the dinner with musical performances from different local well-tuned musical figure. MianAsimZafar (CBID National Secretariat) introduced the participants to the dignities from respectable departments and other entities, participating teams and made them understand the history of wheelchair cricket in Pakistan and need of its promotion at government level for the healthy community with equal opportunities of life.

Speaking on the Occasion Dr. Shahnawaz Munami, National Coordinator Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Network said that such events showcase that these people are different, innovative and surprising. He said we should be able to see this perspective and real fun lies in witnessing the matches.

Japanese delegation from Sakura Wheelchair project also participated in the event. Ms. Misako Yasuhara, Mr. Kenji Hamano, Ms. Masami Morigami and HabiburRehamn were present on the occasion. They have shared their views on the stage and were very delighted to be part of this mega event. Lt General M. RehamBadar Ex Surgeon Pakistan also shared his views; he said that I am extremely amazed to see all the participants and their energy.

Honorable Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Riaz HussainPirzada has graced the occasion as the chief guest. He welcomed all the participants and appreciated the organizers. He said that this wheel chair cricket tournament will become part of our annual programs at Sports Complex from now onwards. He then distributed the shields to the distinguished guests and organizers.

The aim and spirit was unanimous that, the lives with disabilities need attention so that the goal to achieve barrier free, right based and inclusive society can become a reality for all. The honorable guests presented the team captions with flowers and kits for the cricket matches. Cake cutting ceremony in the presence of all the distinguished guests and participants was a delightful thing for all present at the occasion. The presence of Mr. Khuwajahas won the hearts of audience and made the whole evening even more memorable.

Inauguration ceremony and League Matches:

The formal Wheelchair Cricket tournament started on 27th October 2016 morning, the 8 men team had to play in the form of a pool of two.  One pool comprises of four teams and they have to play three matches in total according to the schedule. All these matches were planned to be played in the Jinnah Stadium premises. The eight teams played 12 matches all in all to compete for the semifinals.

A match between two women teams was played for the very first time in the history of the country. They have been divided in to group A and B with equal number of players.Each match was comprised of five overs in total. The duration of one match was about 45 minutes, it was pre fixed by the organizing committee so that 12 matches can be played in a single day as the next day was fixed for Semifinal and Final as well. A single match was played between two women teams.

The four teams won maximum of their matches and were following each other on the score board. These teams did well in the league matches and compete for semifinals. Lahore team faced D G Khan, where Mir PurKhas played against Islamabad team. The lunch and refreshment were served in mess of the Sports complex and we are thankful to the partners who made it happen in the best possible way.

The Final Match between Islamabad & Mardan teams

All the 8 teams and the two women teams gathered on this one platform from all over the country, played brilliant cricket but amongst the men’s teams two had to be selected to play the Final on 28th October 2016.Lahore Team and Islamabad made maximum points on the score board and made their position to final.

The Final match was mush awaited event of this tournament and it was watched by a huge crowd including dignities from Parliamentarians, INGOs, NGOs representatives and Civil Servants from the Government.

It was five overs match where Lahore team won the toss and decided to bat first, skipper after winning the toss opted to bat first in 3-overs a side final. Islamabad team won the by chasing the score.  Lahore women team won the match from Abbottabad team.

Closing Ceremony:

The three days festivity met a happy ending with the closing ceremony where Chief Guests,Mr. Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada(Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination) distributed shields, prizes & souvenirs among Persons with Disabilities.

The dignities include NGOs, INGO’s and Govt Officials who have graced the occasion. Dr. Akhter Nawaz Ganjera (Director General sports, Pakistan sports board), MD Bait ul Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheik, were also amongst the honorable guests, distributed prizes among the team players for their good performance and certificate of appreciation were distributed among the organizers and umpires of this historical event.

Islamabad team lifted the Winning Trophy and Lahore lifted the Runner Up. The women disability teams were also appreciated and received their prizes. The winning team has earned a cash prize worth Rs. 50,000/- while the runner up team received an amount of Rs. 25,000/- cash priz