“Sport Changes Lives”

Projects: Wheelchair Rugby

The President of International Wheelchair Rugby Federation,John Bishop with Team Indonesia from BSF at the Asian ParaGamesin October 2014.

Bali Sports Foundation's Wheelchair Rugby program can be proud ,with the medal play off being the culmination of an incredible journey that started on August 22,when Bali Sports Foundation received an invitation to send an Indonesian wheelchair rugby team to the afore mentioned Asian Para Games, an event held every four years and second only to the Paralympics in importance for Asian countries..

BSF Founder Rodney Holt well known in the South East Asian wheelchair sports world, was planning to start a wheelchair rugby program in Bali and had had even secured sponsorship from Luis Dreyfus Commodities to purchase rugby wheelchairs chairs,which are unique, built to withstand constant ramming.

The invitation from the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) and Korean Wheelchair Rugby Association (KWRA) set in motion an incredible series of events from securing approval from the Indonesian National Paralympic Committee,to getting visa’s for Korea,which meant hand carrying passports to Jakarta to be processed in record time to persons like Katrina and Brianna Simorangkir jumping to help run a benefit concert to finding suitable players ,that fit the classification requirements of the sport all in 5 weeks.

After securing approval from the National Paralympic Committee,next step was raising funds.BSF Trustee Vicki Spencer started the ball rolling by walking a 100 km over 4 days.Next a benefit concert with amongst others SID’s Jerinx side project Devildice as well as Reborn,The Hydrant and the legendary Thuds.BSF tipped in,and soon representing Indonesia at the APG was looking less a dream and more a reality.

Korea sent their U23 Team to Bali to help prepare Indonesia with a week long workshop and training,and then coupled with visas,the Indonesian Wheelchair Rugby team joined the rest of the Indonesian Team of 125 strong to the Asian Para Games in Jakarta airport.Time for a few photos with the Indonesian sports minister and it was off to Korea.

Greeted on arrival with a nice krisp 9 degrees Celsius,a temperature never before experienced by the Balinese,however this was but the first of many new experiences for the Balinese athletes.The games were held at the state of art Seonhak Gymnasium as indoor sports venues are called in called in Korea,it seemed a world away from training in Bali International School,which by Bali standards is very good.And the accommodation on the 10th floor was a new experience for Balinese used to one or two story buildings.

The tournament itself consisted the group games playing powerful teams like Japan (world rank 4 ) and Korea(ranked 22) , and finallyIndonesia lost the bronze Malaysia .

As Head Coach Holt commented “ I am very proud of our team . We put together a team in 5 weeks,playing against teams that have been playing for years.We had to use borrowed wheelchairs as ours were not ready in time,so not optimized for each player physical charateristics.Indonesia gained a lot of respect and friends in the week long event,and with a young team,oldest player being 24 years old, we can look forward an enhanced wheelchair rugby program in coming years.In 2015 we travel to Malaysia for a tournament April,followed by international Wheelchair Rugby tournament at the 3rd Bali ParaGames in early August,and following Bali, Indonesia has been invited the Rio Paralympic qualifiers in October in Japan.And finallyI would like to thank Jenal Rahlawan and Roy Syahputra ,who answered the call and spent hours preparing,and guiding the young team with the BSF team and finally our sponsors KTP,Coaltrans,FIS,TongTeik ,Bali International School,Dreyfus and Hotel Kristal without whose support this would not be possible”

Indonesian National Team captain Ni Made Ratni from BSF in action against Malaysia at the Asian Para Games

In April BSF sponsored Indonesian Wheelchair Rugby Team,participated in the SEA WR Tournament in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia

Following the Malaysian tour,Bali Sports Foundation inaugurated the Bali Wheelchair Rugby Club Championshipo with 4 clubs on May 9

Denpasar Demons

Singaraja Lions

Ubud Highlanders

Jimabaran Jets

The club championship will be held over the next 3 months,culminating in the finals on July 18.Following the final,the national team will be selected to face Malaysia,Thailand,Australia Development in the Bali 4’s on July 23-26.The Bali 4’s will held at the Bali International School,all welcome.

For more information see http://www.indowrf.com