Players and coaches train for wheelchair basketball in Ethiopia.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — In the east of Addis Ababa, inside the vast grounds of the Ethiopian Youth Sports Academy and located in the shadow of the capital city’s national stadium, players and coaches begin to arrive at the outdoor basketball courts for an 8.30 a.m. start to the day’s wheelchair basketball training.

As the sun beats down they begin to talk among themselves, shoot some hoops, and make the transition from crutches or wheelchairs to their basketball wheelchairs — which come in a shiny red and lend themselves to more freedom of movement on the court.

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This has been the routine for a week, as the group — coming from countries affected by conflict such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania as well as Ethiopia — take part in a two week wheelchair basketball training run by The International Committee of the Red Cross in collaboration with the Ethiopian Basketball Federation.

Continue reading about how sports can break down barriers here.

For more coverage on creating a disability-inclusive world, visit the Development Enabled series here.

About the authors

  • Rebecca Root

    Rebecca Root is a Reporter and Editorial Associate at Devex producing news stories, video, and podcasts as well as partnership content. She has a background in finance, travel, and global development journalism and has written for a variety of publications while living and working in New York, London, and Barcelona.
  • Naomi Mihara

    Naomi Mihara is a Video Journalist for Devex, based in Barcelona. She has a background in journalism and international development, having previously worked as an assistant correspondent for Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and as a communications officer for the International Organization for Migration in Southeast Asia. She holds a master's degree in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University.

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