Northampton wheelchair basketball club launches recruitment drive for more players

Northants Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club are hosting a have-a-go day in March to recruit a bigger team after their players have dwindled to 12.

Monday, 18th February 2019, 1:31 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 2:49 pm
Northants Phoenix are set to host a 'have-a-go' day to recruit more people for wheelchair basketball next month.

The team, who train at Thomas Becket Catholic School, are trying to raise the profile of wheelchair basketball to attract the next generation of players to join their squad and want people with, or without a disability, to find a sport they really enjoy.

Treasurer and coach Chris Dabbs said: "I’ve been a member of this club for over 20 years and in that time we have gone from supplying several Paralympians and playing in National League Division 2, to having all our chairs stolen in 2012, then rebuilding at the university with a student team, to losing that venue and struggling along down in Roade.

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"Our player base has shrunk to just four juniors and eight senior players and we want to get the word out that we are alive and kicking, so we have a have-a go-day planned for March 16 from 10.30am through to 2.30pm where anyone can pop in and try their hand in a state-of-the-art sports wheelchair and discover the buzz that wheelchair basketball delivers."

The wheelchair version of basketball is a non-contact sport with five players on court at one time.

Players are allowed two pushes on their wheels before either bouncing or passing the ball.

The team has eight seconds to get the ball across the half way line and then a further 16 seconds to try and get a basket. Players only have three seconds in the key - the area where most shots are taken - before they have to exit.

"We are primarily about giving people with a lower-limb disability a chance to play a team sport with a ball, you don’t have to be a wheelchair user to qualify.

"From primary school pupil to pensioner, anyone can play our sport.

"With able-bodied and impaired participants lining up together we are the most inclusive team sport on the planet. All equipment is provided, so all you have to do is turn up and play."You can find out more information about the team on their website or on their Facebook page.

The have-a-go day will take place at: Thomas Becket Catholic School, Becket Way, Northampton, NN3 6HT.