Basketball team for people in wheelchairs Sofia-Balkan

The Basketball Club for Wheelchair Users helps integrate disadvantaged people and makes them full members of our society. This is where the Rotary Rotary Rotary Club and the Rotaract Club of Sofia-Balkan come to help society and its development.

The implementation of the project is fully in the tradition of Rotary clubs – Rotarians devote their time, energy and passion to sustainable and long-term projects in local communities around the world.
Rotary and Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan take the idea from their friends from Rotaract Club Belgrade – Metropolitan. The Belgrade Club has successfully created and developed a local wheelchair basketball club for years.
In 2007, Rotary and Rotaract clubs established the non-profit association – the basketball club for people in wheelchairs Sofia-Balkan. Partners are the Bulgarian Basketball Federation and the National Sports Academy.

In 2009, The Rotary Club managed to organize a training seminar with coaches from the European Wheelchair Basketball Federation (FIBA). This gives rise to the future development and success of the Basketball Club. The seminar is aimed at future basketball players, coaches and judges on wheelchairs and is run by Ron Coppenad, FIBA ​​Secretary and Luc Vergososen, coach of the Dutch national team for men up to 22 years and FIBA ​​official commissioner. They manage to put the basics for the basketball cube by giving guidance and recommendations to the coach and players who help them in future development and motivation for success.
At the end of the summer of 2009, coach of the Dutch basketball team, Luc Vergososen, returned to Sofia to help further team development. Then a four-day training camp for the players is organized. These days of intense training have been able to develop skills and abilities for each player, to team up as a team, to give them courage and confidence, a drive to play and to achieve greater results in wheelchair basketball.
In 2015. a basketball referee for wheelchair users is also being held. Speaker of the seminar is Darko Shovan, international basketball basketball referee and member of the Rotary Club Belgrade-Metropolitan.

The basketball team has regular training every Tuesday and Thursday at 20:00. in the adapted wheelchair hall of the National Stadium “Vasil Levski”.
Coaches of the team over the years are Assoc. Prof. Krusty Tsarov, Martin Vutov and Vladimir Iskrov, who is the coach of the team at the moment.

Over the years, Rotary and Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan have been able to attract various partners such as: the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Bulgarian Basketball Federation, the National Sports Academy, the Dutch Basketball Federation, the Civil Rights Choice Association, the People’s Agency Disabled / ASH /, Mayor of the Studentski region. Businessmen, businessmen and sportsmen, including Konstantin Papazov, Philip Videnov, Stefan Georgiev, Sasko Vezenkov and others.

As a result of the activities of the footballer team, the Ministry of Youth and Sports established a consultative center in the building of the National Stadium “Vasil Levski”, which helps people with disabilities. The Center supports and develops programs and projects of non-governmental organizations.

Various corporate sponsors have also helped develop the team over the years. Some of them are DHL, Bulgarian sports totalizator, Telerik, Bulgartabac, Raiffeisen Bank, KFC, and others.
Since the creation of the basketball team, Rotary and Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan have recruited and raised funds through funding through club projects, donations to club members, lotteries, and club affiliate auctions.
Due to the complex mobility of wheelchair players, the maintenance of regular trainings, wheelchairs and halls, teams of trainers and specialists are constantly looking for sponsors who can provide the means to better develop this sport.

Thanks to the popularity of the Sofia-Balkan team, Rotary and Rotaract clubs from Varna and Burgas connect with the Sofia-Balkan Rotary Club, as they want to create and develop similar teams in Varna and Buras. Thus, Rotary and the Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan promote initial guidelines and advice on the creation of the next basketball teams for wheelchair users.

After the training camps in 2009, the Sofia-Balkan basketball team managed to organize a demonstration match with the Serbian basketball team for people in wheelchairs – Dunav, from the city of Belgrade.

In 2011, the teams of Sofia-Balkan and Varna organize a demonstration meeting in wheelchairs for wheelchair users. The match is on the upcoming Paralympic Olympics in London, UK in 2012. The event was initiated by the International Par Olympic Committee. The Sofia-Balkan team is ranked first.

In the same year, the Sofia-Balkan team also participated in the first Balkan tournament for wheelchair users in Romania. The event is attended by the teams of Sofia-Balkan (Bulgaria), Oradea (Romania) and the team of Poland. The Bulgarians ranked second in the tournament, organized for the seventh consecutive time by the Romanian basketball team.

In 2015. for the first time a basketball tournament for people in wheelchairs for the Cup of Sofia Municipality is organized. Organizers are Sofia Municipality, Sofia-Balkan Rotary Club, basketball club for people in wheelchairs Sofia-Balkan, Bulgarian Basketball Federation and NSA. The purpose of this tournament is to promote basketball for people in wheelchairs; to contribute to the improvement of physical and mental health and the full integration of the athletes; to attract public attention, support and new athletes, and to lay the foundations for the formation of the first national basketball team for wheelchair users.
Professional basketball team for people in wheelchairs
In 2017. the basketball team of CSKA takes over 8 of the best competitors in Sofia-Balkan. The transfer is a first step in the strategy of the Rotary Club Sofia-Balakan to popularize the game among wheelchair users and transform it into a mass sport.

For their joint initiative – wheelchair basketball teams, Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan and Rotaract Cult Belgrade-Metropolitan win first prize at the Twin Clubs’ Award for 2010, which is organized every year by the European Rotaract Information Center (ERIC) ).

For their joint initiative – wheelchair basketball teams, Rotaract Club Sofia-Balkan and Rotaract Cult Belgrade-Metropolitan win first prize at the Twin Clubs’ Award for 2010, which is organized every year by the European Rotaract Information Center (ERIC) ).