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Paralympian appeals for wheelchair

LOCAL female Paralympian Moleen Majoni (44) is appealing for sponsorship to enable her to acquire a new top-end racing wheelchair.

LOCAL female Paralympian Moleen Majoni (44) is appealing for sponsorship to enable her to acquire a new top-end racing wheelchair.

"Prices for brand new racing wheelchairs range from US$2 800 to US$12 000," Majoni said.

For the past four years using a single wheelchair for training and competitions, Majoni has been able to win a number of accolades.

Majoni early this year won a gold medal at the 21,1km OCC Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge in George Town, South Africa.

The wheelchair challenge saw participants from Ghana, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe battling for top honours.

Coming in sixth at the recent marathon which was held in Bulawayo, Majoni attributes her poor performance to the dilapidated state of her wheelchair.

“As an athlete l face challenges like looking for funds at the same time doing the training,” she told Standardsport.

“I end up not having enough time for training as l will be doing follow-ups for the much needed funding.

“I have kids, so l have to go and do vending. The result is that sometimes I spend a lot of time in the streets instead of focusing on my training.

“My community doesn't have the necessary training facilities, which affects me a lot.

“l have to go to Madokero or Westgate for road training and sometimes l do rounds in a nearby complex, which is approximately 2km.”

A resident of Dzivarasekwa Extension, Majoni said using an old or unconditional wheelchair makes her training boring.

Sometimes l may have flat tyres and l would not have money to buy new ones or to replace torn gloves.

Majoni launched her professional sports career as a wheelchair basketball player in 2005 and over the years she has won medals at the Econet Victoria Falls marathon, the Westgate half marathon and a number of other prestigious events.

A mother of two, Majoni has won the bronze once and the silver medal, a record three times for the sportswoman with a disability annual award. Apart from basketball and wheelchair racing Majoni is also a keen and passionate sitting volleyball player.

She has  donned the national colours of the wheelchair basketball national team.

Her professional growth has been perturbed by lack of funding.

Assistance from individuals and the corporate world will see Majoni participating in more local, regional and international events.

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