Wheelchair Basketball!

Thursday 10th September, 2015

The students at Oakwood School, Hobart, have a motto. That motto is “another day: another adventure”. For the High School students on Thursday the 10th of September 2015, the adventure was a fun one.

The students left for the Moonah Sports Centre during Lunch. Some mums had kindly offered their services as chauffeurs, and everyone gathered on the basketball court with Kevin, the Wheelchair Basketball instructor. For some, namely the 10s, 11s and 12s, there was a sense of déjà vu (“I’ve done this before!”) but for the younger students, it was a totally new experience.

And it was as fun as anticipated!

Whizzing around the basketball court in cool new wheels, the students first practiced some drills. Yes, bouncing and throwing a basketball while in a wheelchair is hard! But all of the students soon got the hang of it – and all the twisting and pulling and pushing you had to do to the wheels to turn tight corners!

Soon enough, the four teams were embroiled in fast-moving, tense games that kept you – literally – on the edge of your chair! No-one fell out, thankfully.

The Seniors showed their experience in the games, grabbing and shooting with ease, and the younger grades displayed amazing potential. Fighting the urge to just jump up out of that chair and sprint after the runaway ball was the hardest bit!

The hour of Wheelchair Basketball went all too fast. Far too soon, everyone was seated back on the grandstands, listening as Kevin talked about the serious side to Wheelchair Basketball.

“Sure it’s fun to be in a wheelchair for five or ten minutes,” he said, “but for a lifetime, it’s not. You’ve got to just use your common sense.” He explained how he ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life after a silly showing-off at 18. Cut off from walking in the prime of his life, he still went on to compete for Australia in Wheelchair Basketball and just recently participate in a major archery competition, but, as he said, “life is not fun in a wheelchair.” As well as fun, the students got a word of warning from one who learned the hard way.