Article by: Alya Shandra
Wheelchair basketball is one of the few team sports for people with disabilities. Union Basket Lviv is a team that was able to preserve this sport in Lviv, thanks to the enthusiasm of several people.
Pavlo Kozak, a professional sportsman and powerlifter who has been using a wheelchair for 18 years, is the team captain. He assembled the team together and got the funding. Union Basket Lviv opened in May 2016, but the first attempts to assemble such a team took place in 2000 under the auspices of the Paralympics Committee. However, then the initiative ran out of money and had no special wheelchairs. Now, the team has a trainer and sponsors who purchased sports wheelchairs, each of which costs at least $2,000.
The team partnered up with local IT companies, who take part in charity actions to purchase additional sports wheelchairs, which are safer and more versatile to use in the game.
The trainer of the team then and now is Marian Pityn, a 36-year old professor of the chair of Olympic professional adaptive sport in the University of Physical Education.
The rules are the same as in regular basketball.
Union Basket is nearly one of its kind in Ukraine at present. There are similar teams only in Kharkiv and Odesa. On 27 April 2017, Union Basket Lviv held its first all-Ukrainian tournament with the participation of teams from Kyiv and Kharkiv.
The players are convinced that a wheelchair is not a verdict. You just need to find in yourself the desire and strength to get out of the house!
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