A world class Paralympic sport training centre opened in Baghdad earlier in January.
It is the first such facility to be inaugurated in Iraq.
Iraq’s National Paralympic Committee officials are confident that the new training facility will contribute to the development of Iraq national teams and reduce the need for Paralympic and disabled athletes to join training camps abroad.
Disabled and Paralympic athletes attending the opening ceremony say that the new training facility will boost opportunities to develop their careers, qualify for international tournament and win more medals.
Mo’yad Hashim Salman, a wheelchair basketball player, says:
This training centre will help our athletes and players. Before this centre was built, we didn’t have a proper training facility but today we an integrated facility. This is a major achievement by the Iraqi Paralympic Committee.
While Qusay Ghassan Abbas, Coach, Iraqi National Wheelchair Basketball Team, says:
After the inauguration of this training facility, training will now take place mornings and evenings as this facility is now available to athletes at any time and will save time by removing the need to go to training camps abroad.
The new training centre can accommodate up to 1000 spectators, is equipped with video cameras to film events, modern cooling and heating systems that conform to international standards, external broadcast control, a commentary studio, gym facilities and other services to meet the needs of athletes, including non Paralympian athletes.
The Prime Minister’s advisor on Sport, Iyad Benyan, who attended the opening ceremony, described the centre as a landmark event, and one which reflected the government of Iraq’s strong commitment to supporting sport and athletes at all levels, adding that Iraq’s constitution recognises sport participation as a right.
In 2019, Iraq Paralympic athletes won 189 medals in various Arab, regional and Asian tournaments in various sports, including 63 gold.