Athletes who want better

Abeer Anwar , Tuesday 19 Mar 2024

Egypt is hosting two championships for the disabled, reports Abeer Anwar

The Egyptian Paralympic Committee (EPC), headed by Hossameddin Mustafa,
The Egyptian Paralympic Committee (EPC), headed by Hossameddin Mustafa,


Egypt is hosting the World Para Powerlifting World Cup and the Amputee Football African Cup of Nations Championship.

Powerlifting is held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 20-24 March. Amputee football will be from 19 to 29 April.  

The Egyptian Paralympic Committee (EPC), headed by Hossameddin Mustafa, held a press conference to announce the two ventures.

In a press conference, Mustafa said the powerlifting event was very important in the national team’s preparation for the Paralympic Games. “We now have very experienced calibers in the EPC and we want them to take over committees at the International Paralympic Committee. We have already nominated Emad Ramadan, with his vast experience, to take over Para Powerlifting and we are fully supporting him. This is our role and our target at the Egyptian Paralympic Committee: to prepare qualified persons with disabilities in all fields.” 

Ramadan, EPC treasurer and head of the local organising committee of the Para Powerlifting World Cup, said this was the first time that a World Cup attracted such a big number of participating countries, 34, “which reflects great confidence in Egypt and its facilities”. He also said 159 men, 99 women and134 coaches and administrators would be taking part in the event “which is a huge number”. Ramadan said Egypt had not hosted an international Paralympic event in 10 years in spite of its vast experience and history in the field, “so when their board of directors took over, they decided to host as many events as possible and thanks to the effort by Dr Mustafa, we are playing host to a number of international events in various sports including swimming and powerlifting.   

“We are very successful in Egypt and we are setting an example to be followed as half of our EPC board are disabled members which shows that we are able to serve ourselves and manage our sports by ourselves. What we need from society and the country as a whole is not inclusion because we are already included in the society and working and have important roles, but we need to be given opportunities.” 

During the press conference, a cooperation agreement was signed between the EPC and the Egyptian Federation for Sports Culture, and another cooperation agreement with Weyana Foundation.

Meanwhile, the draw for amputee football took place in Cairo last week. Egypt is in Group A which includes Cameroon, Nigeria, and Burundi. 

Group B comprised Liberia, Morocco, Uganda and Senegal. Group C included Ghana, Kenya, Gambia and Algeria. Angola, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda fell in Group D.

The opening match will be held between Egypt and Nigeria.

According to Executive Director of the African Confederation and Secretary-General of the International Federation of Amputee Football George Schalchten, the groups were set up according to previous achievements and participation in international events while Egypt was placed in Group A for being the host country.

In the press conference, Mustafa said Egypt is hosting the Amputee African Cup of Nations from 19-29 April with the participation of 16 countries.

The EPC has requested to host the FIFA World Cup Amputee Championship scheduled to be held in 2026.

The press conference was attended by Mustafa, Ramadan, Ahmed Adam, vice chairman of the board, Amr Al-Haddad, assistant minister of youth and sports, Ayman Badra, vice president of the Egyptian Federation for Sports Culture, Dalia Mamdouh, executive vice president of the board of trustees of the Weyana Foundation, and Shaima Seoud, director of the Social Responsibility Department at the EPC.

The draw was attended by Mustafa, Celeste Chiamma, vice president of the International Federation of the Amputee Football, Mohamed Adel Hosni, chairman of the Amputee Football Committee at the EPC, Sarah Samir Al-Mayergi, vice president of the Amputee Football Committee of the Paralympic Committee, George Schalchten, executive director of the African Confederation and secretary-general of the International Federation of the Game, Khaled Abdel-Hafiz, treasurer of the African Confederation, and the Egyptian amputee football national team headed by Abdallah Sheka, founder of the game and captain of the national team. Zaher Shebl, striker of the Egyptian national team, was also on hand.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 21 March, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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