The North West Province Wheelchair Basketball team will benefit richly from the R100,000 winning cheque they received from Vodacom in Sandton on Friday.
Vodacom’s Executive Head of Sponsorship & Regional Marketing Bronson Mokabela handed the cheque over to the team after they claimed the Vodacom Wheelchair Basketball Challenge 2014 title with a 66-34 victory over North Gauteng earlier this month.
“As a business we tried to elevate the event this year by taking it to Vodacom world so it was an opportunity to make it special for the guys,” Mokabela said on Friday.
“Increasing the amount of the prize money added to that and personally for me and as a business it just felt right.”
When Mokabela made the surprise announcement at Vodacom World it sparked elated celebrations from the North West Province players.
Wheelchair Basketball South Africa chief executive Charles Saunders said it was a significant award for the sport putting it on par with the abled-bodied professional league.
“This is the biggest cash prize we’ve ever received in the 44-year history of wheelchair basketball and it comes in line with the basketball national league,” Saunders said.
North West coach Shadrack Moepeng said the prize money would serve as an incentive not only to his players but also to other teams which would improve the quality of the sport in the country.
“It means a lot to us because it is the first time in wheelchair basketball that something like this has happened and it is fortunate that we are the first team to win it,” Moepeng said.
“This will motivate the players to earn a place in the teams and it will boost the other provinces to send strongerteams.”
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