Casey Basketball Association located at Casey Stadium, Building 4, Terry Vickerman Centre, 65 Berwick-Cranbourne Rd, Cranbourne, Victoria are including a wheelchair competition in their summer season.
After my very determined son Bailey, who has mild Cerebral Palsy with a right hand difference, kept at me wanting to try out for Wheelchair Basketball, I finally started searching for information. Where is training? Where can you play games? Is there any clubs near us in Berwick? What about skill level and understanding the rules? Not to mention we don’t own a basketball wheelchair!
Bailey had been playing domestic basketball for around 4 years. Pete, (my husband) and I had noticed as the boys were getting older, the game was getting much quicker. Baileys coach had worked strategies around Bailey being slower and having less balance. His team mates were great and supported him. But, the game got much faster.
We had Bailey’s orthopaedic surgeon check-up. Prof was concerned about Bailey’s rapid growth and how it is effecting his hips. While Bailey walks his legs twist inward. This will result in the hip bone pulling out of their sockets. So Prof discussed with Bailey having major hip surgery. Prof said if Bailey has the surgery, he will never play domestic basketball ever again. The pressure on his hips would not allow him to play. This gave me confirmation wheelchair basketball was the only way Bailey could continue his passion for basketball.
Well this mum on a mission who investigates everything and needs to know all the pro’s and con’s before committing, (you know your kids will hold you to your word!), along with Pete agreed for Bailey to try out at a training session at Wantirna. Our daughter Jazz also gave it a go and well, let’s say it was interesting to watch. Firstly watching my kids try to pick up the basketball from the ground was a challenge in itself. With use of the wheel, that trick was quickly learnt.
After two training sessions Bailey was hooked and Jazz was very happy to stay with domestic basketball. I quickly learnt that this was only training with no weekly competition. So off I went talking to other very helpful parents learning the ropes. I met a lovely lady called Cindy and her husband John. Their daughter came to training and they invited Bailey to join Kilysth Basketball weekly wheelchair basketball competitions.
Bailey was thrown into the deep end and the game was on! I told Bailey to at least look on YouTube and get some tips on how to play competition wheelchair basketball. We watched the Paralympics which was full on, and that was Baileys training done!
We turned up to Kilysth Basketball and I have never seen such sportsmanship between teams. All ages, all abilities, male and female all playing together. Don’t get me wrong, each team wanted to win, but I noticed straight away the family environment. Everyone knew everyone and welcomed Bailey straight away.
The mentorship has been my highlight. Seeing individuals with medical conditions catch up weekly. All putting their health to one side, to enjoy and have fun playing sport. Encouraging, teaching each other. Even finding out some of the adults had the same orthopaedic surgeon Bailey has!
It had been only a month or so Bailey had been playing when I started thinking, why doesn’t the City of Casey run a wheelchair basketball competition. We have the population. We have a brand new stadium. So I brought Basketball Victoria, Casey Basketball Stadium, Casey Basketball Association and council together and everyone agreed a wheelchair competition will be created.
This all happened within four months. From Bailey asking to play, I researching, try outs at training, competing weekly, and now proposing the City of Casey to run weekly competitions. What a ride. Full of anticipation and excitement.
I am a passionate ambassador for people with disability and medical conditions. Especially because I have two children who were born 8 weeks premature. Resulting in Bailey having 16 operations and counting. Along with many many check-ups, appointments, ultra-sounds, x-rays, physio, OT, horse riding for the disabled and hydrotherapy.
I would not change any of my life. I was given my two beautiful children and instead of jumping into a comfortable, slow paced Ford, I was catapulted into a high speed Ferrari. A swift learning curve of medical terminology, diagnosis, goals and plans.
I cried with celebration of Bailey’s first un-aided steps when he was six years old. Knowing the obstacles he had overcome, hours of muscle building, strength training, growing his confidence that he can do it. Then to watch Jazz with amazement and joy, also born 8 weeks premature, just pull herself up in Bailey’s walking frame and finally let go, and just walk!
So, naturally I want to do all that I can, not only for my children, but for my new friends I have only met over the last four months. Individuals with medical challenges who have their own stories to tell. Individuals who have overcome huge medical challenges. But their courage and strength has risen up great qualities. Bringing great determination to the court which produces awesome competitive wheelchair basketball.
I am proud to announce that a wheelchair basketball competition starts this summer season. This will be ran on Tuesday nights commencing September 26th 2017 at 6.50pm.
Registrations will be open soon. Follow Helping Hand Is Here on Facebook to find out when you can register. Start SHARING the word and get your team ready!
For further information or purchase MyCare information system, visit www.helpinghandishere.com.au.
Source: Helping Hand Is Here: www.helpinghandishere.com.au