MEMBERS of the Canadian national wheelchair basketball team that competed in the 2016 Paralympic Games are in the Philippines to hold clinics for local players.
Wheelchair Basketball Canada executive director Mike Frogley began the first of a four-day player and coaching clinic at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum with the Pilipinas Warriors, the country’s national wheelchair basketball team, on Wednesday.
The program is part of the country’s year-long activities in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
Also in the Philippines is David Eng, Canada’s country’s flagbearer in the Rio Paralympic Games, and teammates Bo Hedges and Fil-Canadian Jason Conrad Naval.
Frogley was coach of the Canadian Paralympic basketball team that won back-to-back gold medals in 2000 and 2004.
“We are keen on sports and we are excited about presenting wheelchair basketball as a mainstream sport. It’s an exciting and challenging version of the game invited by Canadian James Naismith,” said Canada ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes in a press conference on Wednesday before the start of the camp at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The event was organized by the Embassy of Canada in partnership with the Philippine Paralympic Committee, PBA, and New World Makati Hotel.
“We believe very, very strongly that sports is a vital part of everyone’s life. Any kind of sport, you should be doing and it contributes to your personal health,” said Holmes.
Also lending their support to the event were actor Derek Ramsey and Phoenix and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Norbert Torres, who traces his roots in Canada.
Frogley said he is pleased to share their knowledge with the Warriors, who are preparing for the Asean Paragames.
“It gives us the honor to work with these athletes. What better way to celebrate than to share it not only to Canadians but also the rest of the world. We are looking forward to work with the Philippine team and help them maximize their potential so that one day, they can go out and they can share that experience and knowledge with other Filipinos,” said Frogley.