News Release

Cricket Game Played With Wheelchairs in Nepal


Cricket is a passionate sport in Nepal – it is the national sport.Young people grow up with it, hoping they can someday be selected for the championship teams.But for some, the ability to play the sport is taken away through a spinal cord injury or other illness.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through a donation of roughrider wheelchairs, made it possible for wheelchair users to play.  
Bharat Karkhee, trained by LDSC, the charity arm of the Church, as a wheelchair peer leader, was determined to not let others’ injuries get in the way of their playing the sport.He organized a cricket team for wheelchair users, all spinal cord patients and all sporting their own LDSC roughrider wheelchair.The team had exactly 11 days to practice.

On February 20th, 2015, in Kathmandu, the novice Nepali team took on an experienced Pakistani team that had been organized for many years.The game was “a blast”, filled with a strong sense of camaraderie, positive attitudes and laughter Sometimes players would fall out of their chairs when fielding the ball but that did not deter them.Someone would always help them back into their chairs and they’d be off again. 

Raju Buwal has had his wheelchair for about a year.He had fallen out of a tree while doing trimming work and sustained a spinal cord injury.Even though he races and swims competitively, his hands were blistered from the race.Racing a wheelchair is not an easy thing to do!

It was exciting to see the team all lined up in the red and blue uniforms of the National Spinal Cord Injury Sports Association, and then look at the back of the wheelchairs at the LDSC logo. Even the Pakistan team wanted to know more about the logo. The LDSC roughrider wheelchairs gave these men a chance to play their national sport. Even though the Nepal team lost the game, they gained much more in terms  of success, confidence and sheer joy. 


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