CONTINUING our record investment into Australian wheelchair basketball, another 53 wheelchairs were delivered today to Basketball Victoria.
The latest investment into wheelchair basketball totals $55,000, following on from Basketball Victoria’s partnership with VicHealth for $50,000 we committed to the wheelchair sport last year.
The addition of these wheelchairs will double the amount of Basketball Victoria owned-chairs as to reach our goals of providing greatest access to all Victorians.
These chairs will be delivered around the state to increase the capacity of our programs across Victoria and provide more access and more suitable equipment for players of all ages, sizes and abilities to compete.
From the 53 delivered chairs, 10 will go to Casey Basketball Association, five will head off to Warrnambool and 20 will remain at the State Basketball Centre as part of a funding allocation through Knox City Council. The remainder will be dispersed where needed throughout Victoria as the sport grows to meet demand.
The latest shipment of chairs includes a significant amount of small wheelchairs designed for our youngest players to provide children ages 5-10 with more accessibility to properly fitting wheelchairs.
As a suitably-sized wheelchair allows the player to shine at the best of their abilities, having a range of chairs on hand from extra small to our larger sizes is crucial.
Wheelchair basketball programs have been set up at a number of associations around Victoria – from metropolitan associations like Kilsyth, Casey and Mornington to the furthest flung regions of our state including Bendigo, Ballarat and Warrnambool.
Opportunities in Victorian wheelchair basketball range from come-and-try days to representative duties in the Kevin Coombs Cup under-23 team and the National Wheelchair Basketball League with Kilsyth, leaving Victorian wheelchair basketball sitting in its strongest position yet.
But that’s today and there’s still plenty we can do to give every Victorian a chance to hop in a chair and participate in this growth sport.
It’s not just a sport for those confined to wheelchairs though. People from all walks of life and differing levels of mobility – from amputees, players with bad ankles, legs and knees or even completely able-bodied athletes – are able to take part in wheelchair basketball.
As participation grows we need to expand all aspects of wheelchair basketball – especially new coaches.
Wheelchair basketball coaching is not drastically different from coaching able-bodied athletes as the set plays and strategies transfer across to this format. The opportunities are there for coaches to give it a go and help support the booming wheelchair basketball community in Victoria.
If you’re interested in getting involved with wheelchair basketball as a player or a coach, get in contact with Sheena Atkin – firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIST OF WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL PROGRAMS IN VICTORIA
Melbourne – MSAC