Wheelchair Basketball athletes share their passion for the sport in Fort St. John

Author: BC Winter Games/Sunday, February 23, 2020/Categories: Front Page, News, 2020 News, BC Winter Games, 2020 BC Winter Games, Basketball - Wheelchair

Wheelchair Basketball athletes share their passion for the sport in Fort St. John

If you had the opportunity to spend just a few minutes watching Wheelchair Basketball this weekend, you have probably noticed something unique; the overpowering feeling of community. This weekend, Wheelchair Basketball is about more than just wins and losses, it's about encouragement, knowledge sharing, and showcasing the sport to the city of Fort St. John.

“Yes, we are competitive; yes, we have our zones; yes, we have our teams; however, a lot of these kids have known each other for a while,” stated Nadine Barbisan, Program Manager with BC Wheelchair Basketball. Athletes, who are between the age of 12 to 20, are able to attend three BC Games. “Some of these kids only see each other once every two years, so they are cheering each other on,” she continued.

When watching Wheelchair Basketball, you notice both teams cheering for good plays, players helping each other when in need, and a genuine excitement to share their sport with our community.

“Wheelchair Basketball is a community, but it feels more like a family. We all look after each other, we all stick up for one another. When a new person comes in, we try to welcome them with open arms because we want them to try our sport; we know it’s awesome,” Barbisan explained.

Excited to share the passion, an impromptu “try-it” session after competition finished on Saturday. Athletes and coaches used this opportunity to share their sport with the members in attendance and showed them the ins and outs of Wheelchair Basketball.  One athlete had a new spark in his eye as he wheeled on the court, Kaden Baum was the sole cross country para-athlete and was eager to try something new.

“It opens doors,” said Jeremy Baum, Kaden’s father.  “I don’t know how he does it, but he took it on like a champ.”  Jeremy goes on the say they are looking to join a league in Kamloops an hour from their home where Kaden knows a fellow para-athlete Lily Brook who has been in Fort St. John for Wheelchair Basketball with Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan.  The two have previously talked about getting Lily into a sit-ski and on the cross-country track with Kaden, but now it seems they may both be sharing their sports with each other.

This idea of family goes beyond the athletes. Young coaches who have previously competed in provincial and national Wheelchair Basketball competitions are eager to help out as much as they can. When starting out, they are mentored by senior level coaches in order to provide their athletes with top-notch training. 

“These coaches have all been in the shoes of these kids, so they know where they are coming from and what they're feeling. It’s not just about basketball at these games; it’s about socialization; it’s about compassion; it’s about education; and it’s about integration,” Barbisan said.

If the passion these coaches and athletes have wasn't evident enough, the impromptu “try-it” session after competition finished on Saturday, really showcased it to our community. Athletes and coaches used this opportunity to share their sport with the members in attendance and showed them the ins and outs of Wheelchair Basketball. 

Print

Number of views (386)/Comments (0)

Theme picker