Second annual wheelchair basketball tournament

Event sees over 50 people attend, surpasses fundraising target

Friends for Inclusion co-chairs Allie Howie (left) and Mehima Kang (right).
Friends for Inclusion co-chairs Allie Howie (left) and Mehima Kang (right).
Supplied by Friends for Inclusion

This past Sunday saw the second rendition of Ball 4 a Cause take place at the ARC, a wheelchair basketball tournament organized by ASUS club Friends For Inclusion (F4I).  

Open to Queen’s students and members of the Kingston community, this year’s tournament had 50 participants across the nine teams registered. According to F4I co-chairs Allie Howie, ArtSci ’18, and Mehima Kang, ArtSci ’20, the club previously hosted a “Dodgeball 4 a Cause” tournament in years past before they switched over to wheelchair basketball in 2017. 

This year, Ball 4 a Cause raised money for Community Living Kingston and District (CLKD). CLKD is a local organization that works to ensure community members with intellectual disabilities have equal opportunity. 

After a day of playing basketball, Kang said F4I surpassed the committee’s goal of raising $300. By year’s end, the club hopes to donate at least $600 to CLKD.

In an interview with The Journal, both co-chairs were thrilled with the success of the event. 

“While this sport was new to most people, we were impressed by how quickly they learned the technique [of wheelchair basketball],” Howie said. “This event allowed students to really sit in the shoes of those living with these issues on the day-to-day, and allowed us to gain insight and a deeper respect for the diversity in our community.”

On top of stand-alone events like Ball 4 a Cause, the F4I committee has also paired over 30 Queen’s students this year with individuals in the Kingston community who have intellectual disabilities. Along with raising funds for CLKD, the club tries to demonstrate the importance of an accessible and inclusive environment on campus. 

As part of ASUS’ outreach committee, F41 will be hosting Dinner in the Dark in association with Queen’s volunteer service organization QLimitless on Mar. 18. The dinner will be held in darkness in hopes of raising awareness for people with vision impairment. Tickets for the event can be purchased on the ASUS website. 

Howie and Kang both said they hope to see F4I grow through the events they’ve hosted this year. 

“We are one of the smallest ASUS outreach committees … You always hear about Lost Paws or Heart and Stroke or Cancer Triad, so for us this year we wanted to increase our presence on campus, in addition to supporting CLKD more,” Kang said. 

“[But] all that’s secondary to our main goal of fostering a more inclusive atmosphere and environment on campus.”

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