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Wheelchair coach trains Battambang team

120720_21
The newly formed women’s wheelchair basketball team practise on their training ground in Battambang. Photograph: supplied

Australian wheelchair basketball coach Gary Conner will arrive in Cambodia on July 27 on a two-week coaching assignment with the newly unveiled Battambang women’s wheelchair basketball program now under way at the MOSVY Battambang Centre for Physical Rehabilitation.

The 47-year-old Conner, who was left with two broken vertebrae in his lower back and a severed spinal cord in a work site accident in 1988, has turned that adversity into strength by raising disability awareness as a Disability Sports and Recreation Ambassador.

Conner’s main task is to finalise athletes for the program and to train them in all aspects related to wheelchair basketball in order to prepare a national team for participation in upcoming regional and international events.

The Battambang project has been initiated by the Cambodian National Volleyball League Disabled (CNVLD) in partnership with Australia-based Disability Sports and Recreation (DSR), which besides raising funds has donated 16 basketball wheelchairs.

“The CNVLD Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Program gratefully acknowledges the support of DSR, Australian Red Cross and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation” CNVLD Secretary General Chris Minko told the Post.

“Gary is a great motivator and his presence will be inspiring” he added.

Ahead of Gary Conner’s arrival next week, the 16 members in the Wheelchair Basketball Program are going through disciplined training four days a week under the supervision of CNVLD Senior Sports Program Manager Ms Sieng Sokchann.

To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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