April 26th, 2017 BBC Assisting Guatemala WheelChair Basketball
Dear Mr. Laurie Johns and Basketball BC,
Donations come in many sizes, but friendship and belief in our work is what we cherish most here at Transitions. Basketball BC has shown us all of that with your donation of four fabulous outdoor basketballs to Transitions Foundation of Guatemala (TFG).
We are extremely proud of what Transitions has become and we thank you for the part you have played in our development. Seventeen years ago, Transitions was a small group of young Guatemalans with disabilities who were brought together through their rehabilitation and dreams of a brighter future. The Transitions team, in existence since 1998, is comprised of men who are Polio survivors, gunshot survivors, or with severe post-MVA spinal injuries.
Today, these same individuals are Transitions' strongest leaders, serving as role models for their country. The Transitions Basketball Team has won the National Basketball Championship a number of times as well as the Central American Championship in 2010.
All of the men on the Transitions Basketball team also work full-time building wheelchairs or in other jobs in the Transitions shop as we also make prosthetics.
It is not an easy life in Guatemala for persons with a disability. With no universal health care nor easy access to OT, PT or orthopedic care these strong, determined basketball athletes must make due with the kindness and support of family and friends.
Practices are weekly for 3 hours on Friday afternoons when the Transitions team leave their wheelchair workshop to make their way to an outdoor basketball court many km. away.
Basketball courts are few and far between in Guatemala. The team must make do on an outdoor cement court with baskets which are in dire need of repair and aren't regulation height. The Transitions team is obviously at a disadvantage when they play other teams in tournaments that have full-time access to a proper court.
In any case the Transitions team practices with determination, enthusiasm, and camaraderie. Basketball gives balance and joy to their lives.
The Dream? Well there are many. One is to have a proper basketball court where they can practice. There is a grassy area behind the wheelchair workshop where they could build a basketball court. We are pricing out the cost now as a fund-raising initiative.
The other important thing the team needs is to have some great coaching. The last time they had a visiting coach for 4 weeks they won the National Championship! So they are hoping to connect with regular or Paralympic basketball athletes or coaches who would be willing to come down to do workshops with them. If you have any contacts please pass them on to us and we would love to Skype/FT with anyone interested to discuss the possibility.
In the meantime, thank you again Basketball BC for putting a smile on the faces of these athletes and hard-working Guatemalan men with your donation of basketballs.
Please do not hesitate to contact Alex or myself for more information or if you have questions or suggestions.
Volunteer/IT support for
Transitions Foundation of Guatemala
Brooke Campbell: Canadian Address
250.354.8668 iPhone international txt
Alex Galvez, Executive Director: Transitions Foundation of Guatemala & Transitions Basketball Team Member since 1998,