2015 Rachel Corrie Sports Tournament for Athletes with Disabilities

Final Administrative Report on the Second Rachel Corrie Sport Tournaments for Athletes with Disabilities 2015

Eid Shaqura
Chairman
Al Basma Club for the Disabled
Gaza

Background

The 2015 Rachel Corrie Sport Tournaments for Athletes with Disabilities was a turning point in the history of sport movement for athletes with disabilities in Gaza, especially for women participation. 2015 tournament witnessed the widest participation of women with disabilities ever seen in the Gaza Strip. In total around 180 participants took part in that event.

These tournaments took place in Khan Younis city and it was the first time a marathon for women with disabilities was ever organized in the streets of Khan Younis – the most conservative city in the Gaza Strip! Around 20 sport entities were involved in this event such as:

  • Palestine Paralympic Committee
  • Palestinian Sport Federation for Deaf
  • Palestinian Table Tennis Federation for Persons with Disabilities
  • Al Basma Club for Disabled
  • Al Salam Club for Persons with Disabilities
  • Al Amal Club for Deaf
  • Shabab Canada Club
  • Al Hilal Club for Disabled
  • Club for Deer Al Balah Association for Rehabilitation
  • Al Sadaqa Sport Club
  • Al Jazeera Sport Club
  • Al Shija’iyya Union’s Club
  • Sport Union Club
  • Al Irada Sport Club
  • General Union for Palestinian Disabled
  • Hand to Hand association for women with disabilities
  • Knight Club for Women with Disabilities
  • The Islamic University of Gaza
  • Al Mughraka Association for persons with disabilities
  • Society of Physically Handicapped People

It is worth noting that new clubs have been attracted to the tournament, and for some it was the first time for them to share in such event. We especially welcomed the participation of the Palestinian Knight Club for Women with Disabilities.

Note: some athletes participated in more than one event.”

Women Participation

A main goal of this to tournament is to guarantee the inclusion of women with disabilities in the sport activities. Women participated in the Marathon and Table Tennis event. Their participation was remarkable because it was the first time for many of them to take part in such event.
Importance of the tournaments

To me, the Rachelle Corrie Sport tournament is a remarkable event that played a dynamic role in providing a chance for sports to positively affect the lives of persons with disabilities.

The positive effects of this tournament include the following:
1-    Educating the citizens about Rachel Corrie iand the story of her participation in the Palestinian strugggle for Jutice.
2-    Including women with disabilities in direct participation in the sport activities;
3-    Keeping sports a vital factor in the lives of Gazans despite the siege.
4-    Providing material support for Palestinian sport clubs, federations, and other entities that work in the field with persons with disabilities.
5-    Helping Al Basma become a leading club organizing such tournaments
6-    Attracting new athletes specially those whom were recently injured;
7-    Opening new horizons to the participants
8-    Achieving greater and meaningful social inclusion for persons with disabilities
9-    Psychological support and entertainment for those living with  disabilities and injuries.
10-   Increasing community awareness about sports for persons with disabilities.

Al Basma Club’s members were very proud because their club  conducted sport competitions not only for our immediate members, but for disabled athletes from all Gaza Strip cities. Conducting such competitions make the athletes enthusiastic attend to their training, and they are looking forward to the coming tournaments and achieving their best.

Conducting the second Rachelle Corrie tournament positively affected the reputation of Al Basma Club because by organizing such tournaments Al Basma provided the sport services for all athletes in the Gaza Strip. It is worth noting that all results have been officially endorsed by the Palestine Paralympic Committee and other sport federations. This increases the credibility of Al Basma Club in the eyes of the clubs and athletes.

Positive gains can also be measured by the fact that following the ongoing success that we made during the past two years when organizing the Rachel Corrie Tournaments, many athletes proposed to join Al Basma Club. Because of that Al Basma expanded its activities to include the physically disabled sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Power-lifting ….

One of the most important thing that came from the introduction of this tournament was that Al Basma formed a new classification committee for the first time, and this committee have been approved by the PPC to supervise all tournaments from now on.

Also worth noting – and very important to the continued success of our mission here in Gaza – is that that the wider community was  represented by the following community leaders and personalities from:

1-    Ministry of youth and Sport
2-    Many NGOs in Khan Younis City
3-    Khan Younis Public Committees
4-    Islamic University
5-    Other Rehabilitation Associations.
6-    Ministry of Social Affiars

Many of them appreciated the great effort done to conduct such tournament especially in this difficult time, and they expressed a  commitment to finding ways to support the clubs for the disabled people, in order to expand the local community participation. This is a very important point.

There have also been the suggestion from the local community to organize tournaments that  include  non-disabled athletes –  opening the door for non-disabled clubs to take part in the sport tournaments with us in the future.

Closing Ceremony

Many people attended the closing ceremony for the Second Rachel Corrie Tournaments. Amid speeches and congratulations gifts and other awards were distributed to the winners. Some of the dignitaries in attendance were:

1-    Jean Calder (Dean of Faculty of Capacity Building in Red Crescent Society”
2-    Jihad Abu Hattab (Director of Red Crescent Society in Khanyounis)
3-    Kamel Abu Al Hassan (Head of PPC)
4-    Dr. Sa’id Al Ghurra (representing the Islamic University)
5-    Eid Shaqura (Head of Al Basma Club)
6-    Nabeel Awaja (Head Clubs Department in MOYS)
7-    Abed Al Munim Shubeur from Ministy of Social Affairs.
8-    Ms. Jihan Farra Khan Younis Public Committee

Marathon Results
Participating Clubs
Al Basma Club
Al Hilal Club
Al Salam Club

Al Irada Club
Palestinian Knight Club
Hand to Hand club

Al Asdiqa Society
General Union for Disabled
Al Jazeera Club
Deir Al Balah Club