Sport and Disability in Africa
The disabled across the developing world have little rights in society; there are very few programmes to support them and they are often marginalised and neglected by society. In West Africa, there is no state support for the rights of the disabled in terms of the right to access, education and opportunity.
Similarly, people with disabilities in these developing countries often face major obstacles limiting their access to and participation in sports, as well as rehabilitation facilities. The Sport and Development Organisation believes that “sport can be a low-cost and effective means to foster positive health and well-being, social inclusion and community building for people with a disability.”
Founded in 1948, The Paralympics is responsible for bringing disabled sports into the public arena, supporting athletes with disabilities such as amputations, blindness, mobility disabilitiesand cerebral palsy. The event has been praised for focusing on the athletes’ achievements rather than their disability but is regularly criticised for not offering equal funding to that of the Olympics.
Forms of physically disabled soccer, such as wheelchair soccer, amputee- and skate soccer are not yet Paralympic sports. Amputee soccer, for example, is played in over 15 countries across the world, including West Africa, USA, France, England and South America.This network has international tournaments, including a World Cup and a Cup of African Nations for Amputee Football, which proves an inspiration to the West African skate soccer teams.
We feel strongly that the Rolling Rockets team will be role models to other disabled people as the film will create awareness of disabled people’s rights and their fight to overcome these obstacles.