The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Cambodian Wheelchair Basketball Federation (CWBF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on February 9 on cooperation and partnership in support of the CWBF’s players during the upcoming 2023 ASEAN Para Games in the Kingdom.

The MoU was signed by Marc Zlot, head of the ICRC’s Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme, and CWBF president Ly Thuch. Also in attendance were CWBF secretary-general Seur Mouy and Gabriel Tan, head of communications for Prince Holding Group, a partner of the federation.

Zlot expressed his pleasure at the signing. “The Red Cross looks forward to working with the federation to increase the social integration of persons with disabilities, through sport,” he said.

“I hope that the signing of this MoU will provide a foundation for the promotion of the basketball players’ social inclusion,” he added.

Thuch thanked the ICRC for its generous support to the CWBF, since 2012.

“This support has inspired the teams to succeed and win a series of medals for Cambodia. I am confident that both the men’s and women’s squads will claim gold at the 12th ASEAN Para Games, which will be hosted by Cambodia in May,” he said.

The Cambodian wheelchair basketball federation was established by the Red Cross in 2012 to provide training and development opportunities to athletes with disabilities. The federation was officially recognised by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in 2020.

The ICRC continues to support the CWBF through its social inclusion programme, part of its Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programme.

The social inclusion programme is designed to ensure that people with disabilities have access to education, employment, vocational and sports training, and cultural activities.

At the 11th ASEAN Para Games 2022 in Indonesia, the Cambodian 3x3 women’s wheelchair basketball team won the Kingdom’s first gold in the sport, defeating Thailand in the final.