This week my daughter’s basketball team played a group of women with special needs. At first, I wasn’t sure how they would react to being expected to play these women aged 18 – 55 who had varying degrees of physical and mental abilities.

I must admit my heart melted as I watched the girls instantly adjust their normal game to compensate for their competitors skill level. Our team ran slower, didn’t defend vigorously and didn’t challenge any lost balls in order to give the opposition a chance.

To be fair to the other team, they were awesome shooters! I think our team could learn a thing or two about their level of accuracy when it came to getting baskets.

The game ended with the other team defeating our team by almost 50 points, but I have never seen our team so happy as they really enjoyed seeing the joyful exuberance of the opposition taking control of the play on the court.

As the teams shook hands, I overheard one of the women from the opposition say in earnest ‘Better luck next time,’ to which the girl from our team replied, ‘Thanks. Well done, you had a great game.’ They both had smiles beaming across their faces, which goes to show that sometimes the team with the highest score isn’t the only winner.

Driving home from the game, my daughter said that she had really enjoyed the experience and suggested that she would like to donate her time as a community service to work alongside these women as she found them inspirational. It really was a win win scenario with the women enjoying the benefits of playing together as a team, whilst our team had the humbling experience of spending time with these very special people.



(Photo courtesy of Arvind Balaraman,

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