Belgrade, February 13, 2024 – Rotary Club Sofia-Balkan and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade Wheelchair Basketball Club joined forces in the name of peace and mental health at a joint sports event held on February 13, 2024 in Belgrade.

The event was held under the motto “Peace and Mental Health,” inspired by the theme of the Rotary zonal meeting held on February 12.

New Year, New Beginning

WCBK Sofia-Balkan started the new year with a friendly match in Belgrade, preceded by a presentation about the history and creation of the first wheelchair basketball club in Bulgaria – a project of Rotaract and Rotary Club Sofia-Balkan, developed with great enthusiasm last year and, with great joy, chartered as a Rotary Community Corps under the auspices of Rotary Club Sofia-Balkan.

High-Level Meeting

The event was attended by:

  • Gordon McInally, President of Rotary International, and his wife Heather
  • Maria Mircheva, President of Rotary Club Sofia-Balkan
  • Krasimir Veselinov, Past President of Rotary Club Sofia-Balkan
  • Representatives of Rotary Club Belgrade-Metropolitan
  • Darko Šovran, international wheelchair basketball referee and member of Rotary Club Belgrade-Metropolitan
  • WCBK Sofia-Balkan players Atanas Parushev, Vladimir Gyuerov, Ivelin Manolsky, Ivaylo Petrov, Iliyan Atanasov, and Tsvetoimir Tsvetkov with coach Nikolay Ivanov

President Maria Mircheva presented the RI President with a club pennant and received a pennant with the Rotary theme of the year as a gift.

Sportsmanship for Peace and Mental Health

The WCBK Sofia Balkan players presented Gordon McInally with a team jersey signed by the players and by Past President of RC Sofia-Balkan Krasimir Veselinov, whose signature is on the document for the establishment of WCBK Sofia-Balkan.

Gordon McInally blew the starting whistle and threw the ball into play, starting the game. The ball was won by Sofia-Balkan, who made the first fast break towards the Belgrade team’s basket.

The match was played in a spirit of sportsmanship, with a high level of athleticism and mental focus. The players with disabilities showed fight and determination, and the audience applauded them enthusiastically.

United Efforts for a Better Future

The goal of the event is to unite efforts in the region to create Rotary Community Corps in the Balkan countries. With the help of Rotary clubs, the development of peace will be supported, the mental health of the players will be improved, and hope for a better future will be given.

Together we can make the world a better place!