Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Wheelchair basketball team gives hope to disabled athletes in the north-east

Wheelchair basketball sessions are open to both disabled and able bodied athletes
Wheelchair basketball sessions are open to both disabled and able bodied athletes

A wheelchair basketball team in the north-east is helping people with disabilities stay fit, take part in competitive sport and make friends.

Following a four-week taster session in 2012, the Grampian Flyers Basketball Club, in partnership with Sport Aberdeen and Grampian Disability Sport, established the new wheelchair group.

Grant Wilson, the organisation’s development director, said: “In Glasgow and Edinburgh, and even Dundee, there are opportunities for wheelchair users but, up in Aberdeen, there wasn’t anything.”

However, during the last four years, the team has grown in size from six to 24 wheelchair basketball players, including people living with spinal cord injury and degenerative diseases.

Mr Wilson added: “It is an opportunity for them to stay fit, stay active, but also build a social group that understands some of the issues they are dealing with.”

Sarah Hawken, 33, one of the team members, was left permanently paralysed after a sudden illness. She said: “After a couple of years of coming to terms with my new wheelchair-using self, I realised I needed to keep myself fit and active.

“Disabilities disappear on the court and we become regular people participating in a fun sport.”

The team is also open to non-disabled players. As Mr Wilson explained: “They can come along, we put them in a wheelchair, and they are on the same level, playing with their friends, siblings or children.”

The 32-year-old said his biggest achievement as a coach was seeing his junior players going to trials to join the Scotland Development League, as well as winning the Celtic Cup earlier this year.

Taking place every Monday and Wednesday, the senior sessions are available to everyone aged over 14.

A training session for younger people also takes place on Monday, running side by side with a session for non-disabled players.

Mr Wilson has encouraged everyone in Aberdeen to get involved, arguing the experience has also challenged his own perceptions of disability.

He said: “I went in and I was very tenderfooted about what to say, and how to speak to disabled people, but what I learned was to treat these guys the same way you would treat any other player.”

The team hopes to play in a tournament in Europe next summer.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]