People in wheelchairs have a life too

Eyes on the ball: Wheelchair-bound Lindokuhle Mtshali (26) competes against abled-body participants in the wheelchair basketball game at Vosloorus Stadium. The Wheelchair Spirit Games were held to bridge the gap and raise awareness of the challenges experienced by physically impaired individuals.

After conquering the distress and physiological trauma that came with the physical impairment, Mtshali said he went on to live a fulfilling life that included participation in sports. He has gone on to participate in the Wheelchair Spirit Games hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni at the Vosloorus Stadium.

The event was a social partnership with the Wheels of Change organisation. Mtshali shared words of wisdom and encouragement for those who are physically impaired and are still battling to come to terms with their situation.

“The worst thing one can do is to live in isolation and hide from the outside world. The moment you step out you realise there are other people in wheelchairs, just like you. So go out there and live, the situation could have been worse,” he said.

The games saw abled-body participants competing against people with a physical impairment in a wheelchair marathon and basketball.

“I am fully able to do anything, except walk. This is who I am and abled people need to realise the only difference between them and us is our inability to walk,” added Mtshali.

One of the abled-body participants, Mandla Nkosi, stated people often underestimate those in wheelchairs.

“I take my hat off to people who are wheelchair bound. I found the wheelchair marathon and basketball physically taxing. This was a real eye-opener and through our interaction, I learnt of the challenges experienced by physically impaired individuals,” Nkosi said.

The hosting of the wheelchair games is one of the many social development initiatives the disability unit within the Ekurhuleni Health and Social Development Department hosted in partnership with community-based organisations in Ekurhuleni.

Members of the public who run disability awareness campaigns and wish to partner with the City of Ekurhuleni may contact the disability unit through Sello Maleka at 011 999 1399.

  AUTHOR
Zaid Khumalo

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