Ricardo Molinari a former basketball player, went out as usual to the Pergamino Communications Club on Argentina to throw the ball to the backboard of the court. When he finished, he sat in the stands to watch the game like a spectator. Suddenly, something caught his attention, a coach hit the floor with a cane While a blind pupil ran towards the noise produced by the object.
Molinari observed that the boy not only reacted to the sound, but also varied the rhythm, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Seeing this practice, questioned the reasons why a blind man could not play basketball and it was attributed to a lack of elements. After this experience, the former player began to work on a project, which would later lead to Basketball for the Blinds.
The missing elements, according to the Argentine, were completed at the meet the needs of blind people by various methods. In this sense, he focused on helping them distinguish what was happening around them through the ear. Within sports, sound is essential, which is why Molinari created a ball that has pellets with the ability to produce noise without affecting the rebound.
For its part, the board emits various sounds to identify whether or not the ball touched the periphery of the ball. On the other hand, the court is bounded using an elastic band. In addition, all the surface is embossed, which helps the player to know in which zone they are.
This adaptation represents an advance in the inclusion of people disabled in the world of sports. After this adaptation, Argentina managed to capture the attention of local and international media, so he was able to show this new invention to the world.
After nine years of hard work, it was possible to realize what was once a dream, Molinari said. And he added, “I didn’t do it for the sake of creating and registering a brand. My only interest and goal has always been to make basketball possible for the blind and visually impaired.”
Between smiles, masks and curiosity, March 26, 2011 was marked by hosting the first game of basketball for the blind. The rival teams were game creator students and they wore white and light blue shirts.
During the search for the official recognition as an adapted sport, basketball for blind and visually impaired has run into various obstacles that limit the knowledge of this discipline. This situation has not diminished the spirits of its creator, as he continues to seek support for the practice and its recognition by the International Paralympic Committee.
With all the work done to gain recognition, Molinari earned the nickname “Basketball Braille” for his contribution to the inclusion of the blind and visually impaired. “Braille was not recognized until a hundred years ago, I hope to see my dream of seeing basketball practice for the blind come true, both in national sports and in schools for the blind and visually impaired”, said the former Argentine player.
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