“Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable!”

 Ali carrying torch during the First European Games held in Baku

Sport is widely used to help to empower people with various disabilities in many countries around the world. United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA) is also actively supporting those people with disabilities who are sports enthusiasts. With the financial support of Bakcell UAFA Ganja Community Based Rehabilitation Centre (CBR) regularly organizes sport classes for disabled children. Some of those children are currently actively engaged in professional sport and have many achievements in sport competitions.
“UAFA has changed my life. This not just a mere statement. It is a real life story”- Nurlan says when reflecting back on his life before 2003. Now he has friends, goals in life and self-confidence. His utmost dream is to represent Azerbaijan in international Paralympic games and become a champion.
“People’s attitude towards me changed abruptly. Life became beautiful all of a sudden”- Ali says while talking on his successes gained in sport competitions after joining UAFA’s Bakcell project.
Ali and Nurlan Babajanov brothers are both diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Until recently they were only youth with disability competing together with typical sportsmen in championships at the best and perhaps spending most of their time at home doing nothing because of obstacles regarding their disability. They were both feeling depressed and demotivated due to their illness and didn’t have any goals for living a full life. Nurlan who is 24 years old now joined UAFA Ganja CBR courses (computer, vocational training, sport classes, etc.) when he was 11 and started to gain confidence in himself after joining sport competitions. Nurlan’s success motivated his brother Ali who is now 20 years old. He also actively joined sport classes organized by UAFA. After using services of UAFA Ganja CBR center their potentials were developed and whole life changed. They have both attended UAFA’s Ganja CBR Centre sport sessions organized in the framework of Bakcell project since 2003 and have made significant progress in sports.
On 21-23 September 2012 many sportsmen from different regions of republic participated in Azerbaijan championship on Powerlifting Bench Press. Babajanov Nurlan won gold medal in his 67.5 kg weight category by lifting 130kg and became Azerbaijan Champion. His brother Babajanov Ali won silver in his 75 kg weight category by lifting 122.5kg.
Head referee of championship said: “I am sure they will represent us in Paralympic games in the future”.
The brothers were also among the winners of Azerbaijan Powerlifting Championship held on 11-13 March 2016 by AAAF.  Nurlan Babajanov was awarded with the second place with 182.5 kg results in the weight category of 90 kg and Ali Babajanov took the second place with 150 kg results in the weight category of 82.5 kg.
Babajanov brothers also successfully participated in the Paralympic Sport Festival held in Nakchivan city on May 12-13 2016. They were among the members of National Paralympic Team.  Another pride moment for UAFA was during first European Games held in Baku in the summer of 2015. The first and the only disabled person in Azerbaijan who carried The First European Games Torch was the young power lifting champion Ali Babajanov. 
Recently Sumgait city hosted the İV Azerbaijan Championship on Powerlifting and Babajanov brothers were among the participants/ They were the ones who held first and second places and got chance to represent Azerbaijan in Interntional Paralympic games starting from 2017. This is their biggest success and UAFA wishes them good luck!

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