24th Sep, 2020

Bears Wheelchair Basketball players take on game with a difference - against youngster with incurable disease

Laura Kearns 14th Jun, 2018

KIND-HEARTED wheelchair basketball players are taking part in a game with a difference.

Two players in the Warwickshire Bears team are affected by Muscular Dystrophy – a degenerative muscle condition.

And on Sunday (June 17) the whole team will take to the court at Warwickshire College in Henley for an extra special game.

Not only will they be raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK and Bears Wheelchair Basketball Club, they will also be playing against a team captained by a nine-year-old girl with a rare, incurable form of the disease.

Meriel Park from Gloucestershire is one of 50 people in the UK with Nemaline Myopathy – a cognital form of the illness which makes her reliant on the care of others.

The youngster, along with family and friends, has been training with the Bears to take on the charity match at league level – with qualified officials even overseeing the game.

A spokesman for the group said: “Meriel first captured the hearts of the Bears back in October 2016 when she came to watch us in action. She is one of the most inspirational and fantastic young women we have had a chance to meet.

“With a 20 point advantage, the challenge for Meriel’s team will be to out-score the Bears, but more importantly understand the professionalism of the sport and raise awareness for the chosen charities.

“The Bears are the second recipient of this fundraising event. We rely on donations for the smooth running of the team and the money raised will help establish a junior team.

Visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/onceabearalwaysabear to donate.

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