Successful first indoor Wheelchair Softball Tournament in Belgium prime example of sports integration.
Last Saturday (18th of February 2017) the first Wheelchair Softball Tournament ever was held in Belgium and it was immediately a grand slam homerun so to speak. More than 75 athletes in wheelchairs took part in the latest sport- addition to the Royal Belgium Baseball and Softball Federation.
To be precise, it was the first indoor Slow Pitch Wheelchair Tournament in Flanders ever where young and old, beginners and advanced, participants with or without disabilities could compete against each other. Where the eight participating teams all took part in wheelchairs; all under similar conditions. On a true level playing field.
The final of the Wheelchair Softball Tournament was played between a team of established baseball and softball coaches and an all star team of wheelchair athletes and the wheelchair tennis players of Forest Wheels. For spectators and players it was a sizzling match. The game even went into extra innings. The winner of the final and of the day was the wheelchair team of Forest Wheels.
The concept proved a success for the organization, led by Sigrid Gontier of Borgerhout Squirrels. Her dream, since becoming disabled, was to organize an inclusive event of her favorite sport. Where people with and without disabilities play sports together, learn from each other and – above all – have fun together on the playing field.
It succeeded in all respects.
Looking forward to our next event in Belgium. Wheelchair Softball is here to stay.