Cassandra’s Plaudercouch: How did the wheelchair basketball community celebrate New Year’s Eve? And what are their wishes for 2019?

Our little sunshine Cassandra has made contacts all over the world. She asked wheelchair basketball players what their wishes are for 2019. You can read them here…

 

Amit Vigoda – Israel

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family and friends and the most importantly with my girlfriend Naama.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 is to improve as a player and a person, to work hard and to be the best me that I can and of course I hope everyone will have a great New Year.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“Yes, I did practice on the holidays. I mean I have to because there is always someone that’s is working harder then you and the only way to improve is to work work work.”

 

Maataoui Reda – Marocco

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated New Year’s Eve outside with my best friends.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for the upcoming year are to develop myself more as a basketball player and to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

„I didn’t actually practice during the week.“

 

Ali Ahmadi – Iran

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated the New Year with my friends.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“I wish for peace and health to all my friends and for a good basketball year for wheelchair basketball players.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I start training on the 3rd of January.”

 

Joakim Lindén – Sweden

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated with my fiancée and her family and friends.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes are to be healthy and to continue my education with good grades.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I was sick a lot during the holidays so I didn’t practice.”

 

Jiske Visser – Netherlands

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated New Years with some family and friends. I cooked a nice dinner and went to a party in my hometown of Zwolle.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 are that all my friends, family and teammates stay healthy and happy. Basketball-wise, I hope 2019 is as good as 2018!”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I did work out in the gym, but not so much basketball.”

 

Lourdes Ortega Rico – Spain

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated the New Year in my town with my family and friends.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 are; health, many successes with my club and above all to qualify for Tokyo 2020.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I didn’t practice because I dedicated it to my family and friends since I don’t see them throughout the year.”

 

Philip Pratt – Great Britain

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“This New Year’s Eve I had a quiet one. I’ve been away so much over the past few years so it was nice to stay in and hang out with my family!”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 are to stay healthy and to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the European Championships.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I’ve not practiced at all this holiday, I’ve been in the gym twice a week lifting but I’ve purposely not been on a basketball court. I’m OCD with making sure I put in stupid amounts of hours each week during the season, so I forced myself to have some time off this Christmas.”

 

Maurice Amacher – Switzerland

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

„I spent Christmas with my family and celebrated New Year’s Eve with my best friends. Of course there was much food over the holidays.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

„For 2019, I wish myself health and that people in my environment are positive and happy, then I’m happy too.“

Did you practice during the holidays?

„I had a one week break and one week training. The training conditions are ideal in Nottwil where I live. I wanted to take advantage of it.”

 

Amy Conroy – Great Britain

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I spent New Year’s Eve with my family, a wild night of Scrabble and worryingly intense card games.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

„My wishes for 2019 are to recover from my injury, for both GB teams to kick butt at Europeans and to travel a lot.“

Did you practice during the holidays?

„I currently have a major injury on my right elbow so I cannot train properly for a few months – but I still trained most days, I’m just putting a lot of work into my left hand.“

 

Kim Dongyoung – South Korea

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“Sadly, I couldn’t celebrate New Year because I flew on Silvester but I usually go to church to celebrate New Year.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 are being a better person than I was in 2018 and studying at university.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“Yes, one time when I was with my old teammates in South Korea.”

 

Kärlis Podniex – Latvia

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I was with my friend! I had a small party and a nice time!”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“I wish to be healthy and successful.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

„I done some easy weight lifting sessions but rested from basketball, now I’m ready to go back and continue the season!”

 

Thomas Böhme – Germany

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

„I spent New Year’s Eve at home with friends.“

What do you want for 2019?

„My wish for 2019 is health for my family, friends and me.“

Did you practice during the holidays?

„Over the Christmas holidays I was at home with my family in Bayreuth and took some time out from sports to recharge my batteries.“

 

Nerijus Venckus – Lithuania

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

“I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family.”

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wish for 2019 is to stay healthy.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“I just went to the gym for weight lifting.”

 

Steve Serio – United States of America

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

I spent New Year’s with a few friends in New York City.

What are your wishes for 2019?

“My wishes for 2019 are to continue to grow on and off the court.”

Did you practice during the holidays?

“Yes, I practiced during the holidays. We have tryouts at the beginning of January so I couldn’t take any time off.

 

Laura Fürst – Germany

How and who did you celebrate New Year’s Eve with?

„I had a nice party with my boyfreid Floriano and some friends. We had a BBQ.“

What are your wishes for 2019?

„I am looking forward to a new year with many new challenges and I’m hoping for a lot of joy and beautiful moments and of course a successful basketball year. As a team we aim to be successful at the European Championships and I aim reach the playoffs with the RBB Munich.“

Did you practice during the holidays?

„I enjoyed the short break from basketball. I went skiing a couple of times and I was replenishing my strength and energy to attack training again with a full ambition.“

 

Interviews & Photos: Cassandra Rüger

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