We Will Roll You
Short Description and Goal
In wheelchair basketball, everybody is sitting on the same level, with the same initial situation and facing the same challenges. No matter which background, gender, or disability every child has to learn the same communication and the behaving rules on the court. In August 2019 the Iguanas team hosted a Wheelchairbasketball Clash with the participation of the national teams from Russia, Austria and Switzerland. Wewillrollyou Project invited all children and young people to try this amazing team sport and participate in a clash with the professional players.
High Art Bureau GmbH proudly presents the project “We Will Roll You“. In 2018 they helped the sports club RBB München E.V. to get a grant for the school project. From fundraising to PR and project management issues – they were glad to contribute expertise to such an important and great initiative. Inclusion is a big subject in Europe. State institutions require assistance in integrating the concept in a “natural way” in daily life, studies or work.
The school project “We Will Roll You” has been running for 2 years. It included master classes on wheelchair basketball in schools, as well as several open workshops as part of public sports events, city holidays, etc. Aktion Mensch sponsored a 2-year long project to promote inclusion in schools. Some events were supposed to be public, and for them, the grant covered PR and project management related expenses.
“Iguanaclash” was a great opportunity to combine one of the formats of the “We Will Roll You” project (open workshop) with Iguana’s initiative to host an international friendly championship. Organizers combined resources and goals and made a real international community fest in a spirit of synergy.
The event was scheduled just before the European championship on paralympic basketball in September 2020. Another reason for it was that the funding organization paid for 2 years of activities, and some of them were supposed to be public, including one for the summer.
Organizers thought it would be great to organize a friendly tournament, as a warm-up to the championship and an international networking event to build a community. They sent invitations to fellow clubs and professional teams in 6 countries. Russia, Austria, and Switzerland send their national teams. Germany was represented y a mixed team. Russian players were not only from Moscow – the twinning city of Munich but also from Kazan and Saint Petersburg. Only the german mixed team had participants with no disabilities. In General, Germany promotes basketball on wheels as a sport for everyone, ranging from people with no disabilities to people with severe disabilities.
The tournament took 2 days, and the participants spent 3 full days in Munich.
The end of august appeared to be great timing because the European championship was about to start in September and many sportsmen were already ready for international travels. The High Art Bureau helped with visas, but the national paralympic committee helped a lot as well.
Most expenses were connected with catering, transfer, and logistics. it was all covered by the participation fee. “Iguanas” – wheelchair basketball team from Munich – has 2 training locations. For the tournament, they used the gym they usually train at with 2 halls, a bigger one for the tournament, and a smaller one for workshops, team-building, parkour workshop, training on basketball 3 vs 3, radio and tv journalists.
The national teams are usually experienced in travelling. They normally stay in pairs to help one another in the hotel. The hosting team “Iguanas” had a mini-bus for transfer around Munich. They also suggested the best barrier-free hotels. Participants brought 2 sets of wheelchairs – for daily life and the game. Each participant arrived safely, nobody skipped the program. For the sportsmen, the tournament turned into a holiday for friends.
The project’s main target audience for inclusivity promotion has always been school kids. Depending on the degree of disability a player is ranked from 1 to 4. People with no disabilities get rank 4. The sum of all team members’ ranks shouldn’t be higher than 14,5 points. Some disabilities can’t be seen from the first look, but if they influence your game, it affects the ranking. The ranking system and team rank limit affect the coach’s strategy for the game. The system encourages disabled and non-disabled participants to play together under the same conditions, being very effective at promoting inclusion.
One of the challenges of the project was to find kids in the city during summer vacation. Thus, many spectators and participants came from around the Bavaria region, not only from Munchen.
To spread the word High Art Bureau invited bloggers, regional journalists, radio correspondents and sent out press-releases to the inclusivity promoting newspapers.
Resources This Project Needed
- barrier-free school with 2 gyms, a bigger one for the tournament and a smaller one for workshops, team-building and networking
- copywriter for announcement and press-release
- official letters of invitation for the sportsmen
- spare sport-wheelchairs for the workshops (sportsmen have wheelchairs specially designed for them)
- a van equipped to transfer people with wheelchairs
- barrier-free lodging
- follow-up activities, team /community-building event after the main activities of the day
- professionals in fundraising for travel arrangements
- approximately one month to organize the event if dates were chosen with consideration of international sport events
Grant was provided by Aktion Mensch.
Timing: Choose dates before major paralympic events. Sportsmen will be eager to try out their competitors before big events. They will most probably have time dedicated for training anyway. They might also have visa questions settled already.
PR: Announcements are there to invite more people to the event, for more students to learn about equality through sport, and to build a community.
Reach is a part of the High Art Bureau GmbH obligations to the grantor. Partners from Russian Federation side didn’t spread the word as actively as they had promised.. Although they received ready-made texts and pictures from High Art Bureau, they still didn’t do much. So a good tip is to have a professional partner for PR if you’re reaching out to media fields other then your local.
Some sportsmen were in a very competitive mood upon coming. They minds were focused only on defeating other teams. The cheerful and relaxed spirit of other teams, the organizations, and community building sessions made a great impression to them. When planning event, don’t limit the conversation to official dry e-mail conversation. Have a “real” call or zoom call, where you can share your passion for the project and make others believe in it. It will also help people from other countries to learn about new ways of promoting inclusion.
- RBB München e.V. – IGUANAS
- High Art Bureau
• Federal or State Funds
Social Media Link(s)
Level / Project Complexity /
Sizes of Participating Cities
Cover photo: Thilo Schmülgen https://highartbureau.com/projects/wheelchairbasketball-doing-school/?lang=en