Archer in Gaza launches initiative to teach amputees the art of archery
A young Palestinian in Gaza recently launched a private initiative to teach dozens of amputees in the besieged coastal enclave the art of archery.
"The initiative aims at entertaining the amputees and enhancing their physical and psychological strength,” Mohammed Abu Mosaed, the archery coach and the programme's initiator, said to The New Arab.
"I chose the amputees, in particular, to encourage them to practice various kinds of sports even if the effort may seemingly be difficult," he added.
Once a week, the coach says, the amputee trainees, including women and men, gather at a local stadium.
"Starting in this sport for these trainees was not as easy as they thought since archery with a bow and arrow is considered a test of accuracy, strength and concentration, but it was undoubtedly an enjoyable experience for them," Abu Mosaed noted.
Mohammed Sindawi, one of the trainees, expressed joy over how the sport helps him to challenge himself and be more physically active.
"Such kind of sports combines physical and mental strength, as it requires high levels of concentration. This helps me to improve my skills to practice it easily," the 26-year-old told TNA.
"Practising sports contributes to integrating us into the local community and gaining their support. This helps us to get rid of our negative feelings," he added.
Farah Al-Ashram, another trainee, expressed to TNA a similar joy about the initiative. "I love that I am part of a group of archery players in Gaza," she said, adding that she hopes to establish a national team to compete in various international sports tournaments soon.
According to statistics issued by the Gaza-based Rehabilitation and Social Training Association, a Palestinian civil organisation concerned with people with disabilities, there are an estimated 48,000 people with various forms of disabilities involving their extremities currently living in the Gaza Strip, representing about 2.4 per cent of the total local population.