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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom has hoop dreams for Para Games

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The women’s wheelchair basketball team arrives in Phnom Penh. Sreng Meng Srun

Kingdom has hoop dreams for Para Games

The Cambodian women’s wheelchair basketball team are looking forward to showcasing their talents at the 8th ASEAN Para Games in December after arriving home on Tuesday from Kuala Lumpur, where they played an exhibition game with the Malaysian side.

The women’s team, many disabled from land minds and polio, as well as from injuries sustained in Cambodia’s civil war, very much enjoyed and gained great experience from their first friendly exhibition tour, which was managed by International Committee of the Red Cross.

After arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport, wheelchair basketball delegate Kao Phalla, who is an assistant in labour rehabilitation at the ICRC told the Post that it was a useful trip in raising the awareness of disabled people in Cambodia.

Phalla, captain of the eight-member team, said, “This was an exhibition match between the Cambodian women’s wheelchair basketball team and our Malaysian counterparts at the ASEAN Disability Forum.

We want society to acknowledge that disabled people can do all the things able-bodied people can, like playing sport. We want the ASEAN community and other countries to see that disabled people can do anything.”

The Cambodian women’s wheelchair basketball team, formed in 2012, have been approved by the ASEAN Para Games committee to join the 8th edition event to be held on December 3-9 in Singapore.

Lors Nimul has been part of the women’s basketball team in Cambodia since 2012 and lost the use of her legs after she stepped on a landmine 13 years ago while gathering wood in a forest. Basketball has helped Nimul to get over her loss – physically, mentally and socially.

“Before people saw my disability and thought that I couldn’t do anything. Since I joined the basketball team, everyone admires me,” Nimul said. “I would encourage other disabled people to keep working hard and not listen to others. You have to tell people that being disabled is not an obstacle to do what others can do.”

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