At the invitation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jess Markt, a wheelchair basketball coach for people with disabilities is coming from the United States, and will arrive in Juba on January 10, 2017 to coach players, train coaches, classifiers and referees from Juba and Yirol.
Jess began playing wheelchair basketball at the age of 19 after suffering a spinal cord injury. He has been coaching wheelchair basketball since 2009, and has trained teams in Afghanistan, India, Palestine, Cambodia and in his home state of Colorado.
“We are excited that Jess will coach the South Sudan team. They are very motivated and we hope that this training will enable them to participate in international competitions in future” says Venkatakannan Packirisamy, ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Project manager in South Sudan.
In South Sudan the ICRC supports three physical rehabilitation centers that provide mobility devices and therapy. Together with the South Sudan Wheelchair Basketball Association (SSWBA) it organizes weekly wheelchair basketball games to promote social inclusion for people with disabilities.