Updates from Afghanistan Wheelchair Basketball Teams

Updates from Afghanistan Wheelchair Basketball Teams

Injured following a spinal cord accident at age 19, Jess Markt has been working with the ICRC since 2011, helping bring one of America's best loved-sports, basketball, to wheelchair-bound men and women in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, South Sudan and elsewhere. In the process, these players, whose once primary identity was 'disabled', now see themselves as 'athletes' first. Just this past June, he became the ICRC's first ever Sport and Inclusion Advisor.  He just returned from Bangkok, Thailand where he was coaching the Afghan men’s and women’s national teams competing in the Regional Qualifying Tournament for the Asian Para Games. Read more about the tournament and results, as well as the incredible work Jess is doing, here.

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Afghanistan's National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda

Afghanistan's National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda

The Afghanistan's national women's wheelchair basketball team, trained by ICRC's Sports and Integration Advisor Jess Markt, were featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog. The team won their first championship--and their first international tournament--at the 4th annual Bali Cup International Tournament in Indonesia. They played against women's teams from India, Indonesia and Thailand

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ICRC's Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog

ICRC's Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo Featured on NPR's Goats and Soda Blog

In May, Jess Markt and Alberto Cairo visited NPR headquarters following the launch of the Swissnex Collaborative Platform in Boston to speak with reporter Malaka Gharib about working with people with disabilities in Afghanistan, the transformational power of sport and the thrill of a high-five. Read the full interview here

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