Wheelchair basketball has arrived in Casey and people are encouraged to attend sessions.
A new wheelchair basketball program in Casey is inspiring people of any age and ability to chase their dreams of becoming a Paralympian.
Run by Casey Basketball at Casey Stadium, sessions will include teaching individuals how to pick the ball up, shoot from a sitting position and even try to dribble down the court.
Founder of Helping Hand Is Here and Your Ability, Michelle Jankovic introduced the idea of bringing the sport to Casey four months ago after being inspired by her son, who plays competition wheelchair basketball.
I am very passionate about individuals with medical challenges succeeding in whatever dream they have. My 15-year-old son being born eight weeks premature, resulting in cerebral palsy, really gives me the drive to make wheelchair basketball a natural addition all basketball clubs should run, she said.
She said anyone was welcome to play: People who use wheelchairs all the time: paraplegia, spina bifida, and spinal cord injury – anyone who uses a chair.
People who use wheelchairs some of the time: lower limb amputees, cerebral palsy, incomplete spinal cord injury, muscle weakness. And people who don’t use chairs at all: unrepairable ligament damage, knee or hip replacement, fractures to the knee or ankle joint, multiple joint fusions, knee or ankle reconstructions, anyone with a disability or injury.
Casey Basketball Association spokesperson Ashley Szalek said the Casey Basketball Association was excited to bring wheelchair basketball to the local community.
Working closely with Basketball Victoria, we have managed to secure 10 wheelchairs from Ballarat Basketball on a temporary basis, while we seek funding to purchase 10 chairs of our own. Each chair can cost as little as $1000, he said.
There are several members, he said, that were no longer able to participate in the sport they loved due to disability, injury, age or ill-health.
Wheelchair basketball will give these members of the community the opportunity to get back involved, keep active and in some instances, rise through the ranks of wheelchair basketball as a pathway for the Paralympics.
Casey Basketball will be running training programs and competitions every Tuesday at Casey Stadium.
We strongly encourage everyone to get involved. Even fully abled participants can join in the fun as this program continues to grow over time, Mr Szalek said.
Casey Basketball will run wheelchair basketball training on Tuesday nights. For further information or if you are interesting sponsoring a chair, please contact Casey Basketball on 03 5996 6033 or the website: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Brendan Rees
Cranbourne Star News