Malawi Wheelchair Basketball
Commonwealth Point of Light 60. Charles Nyasa
Charles Nyasa, representing Malawi, is a 23 year old physiotherapist and driving force behind an exciting movement to get more disabled Malawians to play sports.
Charles successfully staged Malawi’s first wheelchair basketball tournament in partnership with the ‘Southern Zone Basketball League’ and has organised a further 10 major sporting events to encourage participation. He volunteers at the ‘Blantyre Wheelchair Basketball Club’ where he arranges training sessions and basketball clinics conducted by experienced instructors alongside the daily running of the club.
Charles also uses his expertise as a physiotherapist to support the local elderly community at the ‘Karibu Clinic’, establishing a dedicated physiotherapy department where he provides free healthcare to 30 elderly patients a day.
Charles was presented with his award on behalf of the UK High Commissioner to Malawi by DFID’s Interim Country Director, Chris Austin, as part of a special event marking the Global Disability Summit held in London on 24 July.
Charles Nyasa said:
“I am very excited to receive the Points of Light Award from Her Majesty The Queen, as this will help raise awareness on the need for societies to accept people with disability, not as objects of pity but as part of human diversity, with similar needs just like everyone else.
It is my hope that this award will be a beacon that attracts partners to help us acquire disability-friendly sporting facilities in order to secure the future for continued sport participation for people with disability in Malawian communities.”
Chris Austin, DFID’s Interim Country Director, said:
“People with disabilities around the world continue to face appalling levels of stigma, discrimination and abuse, and all too often miss out on the opportunities that are the right of every person. So, I am really pleased that there are many inspirational young people in Malawi and the Commonwealth such as Charles who are complementing governments’ efforts—like UK’s hosting of the Global Disability Summit in a week’s time—to transform the lives of people with disabilities and getting such an important recognition from Her Majesty The Queen in the process.”
Pictured below: Charles receiving his award, and in action with Blantyre Wheelchair Basketball Club players