1st Transylvanian Cup – Cluj, Romania 15th to 17th July 2011
Hans Vorsterveld and I attended this tournament at the invitation of the Romanian National Paralympic Committee.
3 team participated, CCSH Cluj and CS Temerarii Arad from Romania and KKK Donau from Serbia.
As expected, the standard of play was quite low. Both of the teams from Romania were playing in reasonable wheelchairs but the chairs were not custom made for the athletes.
The Serbia team mostly had RGK wheelchairs and these had obviously been made specifically for each athlete.
Consequently, the Serbian team was by far the strongest team in the competition.
Hans gave all the players a National Classification. None of the Romanian players had previously been classified.
Some of the Serbian players did have a classification as they played in the National team.
Between the games, I had a small opportunity to do some coaching with the Romanian players but they would benefit from intense training of a week or so. The tournament was refereed by 3 young guys from running basketball. I gave them a short briefing on wheelchair basketball before the first game and they did a great job. They were all enthusiastic and wanted to learn more about wheelchair basketball.
During the tournament I discussed many things with Sally Lamont, the President of the NPC in Romania.
Sally is very keen to develop wheelchair basketball in their country. With Sally I discussed:
1. The relationship between the NPC and running basketball. Sally introduced me to Aurora Dragos who is the Vice President of the Romanian Basketball Federation.
The relationship between the 2 organisations is now very good and Aurora also promised to help us develop our sport in Romania.
2. There are currently 3 teams affiliated to the NPC. I mentioned 3 v3 as a possible development tool to increase the number of teams and Sally was very interested in this idea and will propose that they start a 3 v3 competition to her board.
3. We discussed future development plans for Romania. They really need development in every aspect of the sport from coaching to classification and refereeing. Sally believes that she can find at least 10 referees who would be interested in becoming wheelchair basketball referees.
We discussed the possibility of holding a further training camp, maybe in July 2012, where we could run a training camp for the players with a view to forming a National Team.
4. We also discussed holding a referees clinic at the same time as the camp if Sally can find a minimum of 10 referees to attend.
5. In the longer term, we discussed the possibility of Romania hosting the ECM Division C in Cluj in the future. In my opinion the sports hall and hotel would be suitable for this.
I would like to thank Sally Lamont and all the people in Cluj who made our time there so enjoyable and I look forward to continuing to help develop wheelchair basketball in Romania.
Finally, thanks also to Hans for doing a terrific job in classifying all the players and for being a wonderful support during the trip.
Maurice Hammerton, Development Officer