WARWICKSHIRE Bears wheelchair basketball players enjoyed a training session with a difference when they were paid a visit by French rugby legend Serge Betsen.
The former Wasps star, widely regarded as one of the top flankers of the professional era, visited the training session as part of his role as a Wasps ambassador and he was accompanied by Neal Coupland, Wasps’ Community Partnership manager, Verity Brown, Wasps’ Community Partnership executive, Ian Isham, Wasps’ community coach and Paul Gascoigne, Wasps’ community assistant.
Betsen and his Wasps colleagues were visiting as part of the Coventry-based club’s bid to forge links with local clubs and help local community groups.
Betsen also tried his hand at wheelchair basketball, proving himself to again be a natural sportsman at other sports.
After the event he said: “It was great fun and I had a great time joining in with the Bears. It was amazing to see the skill and dedication of the Bears players.”
The evening was a great success as Betsen and the other Wasps representatives got into a wheelchair and got involved in a game, after some initial coaching from the Bears players and resident coach Tom Masterson.
The Bears were also presented with free tickets to the Wasps Singa 7s tournament at the Ricoh Arena on August 21 by Verity Brown, who commented: “It was an honour to share the court with the Bears and it was great to see the passion, enthusiasm and skill from the team.”
At the end of the session, coach Tom Masterson said: “I would like to thank Serge, Verity and especially Wasps Rugby Club for organising the event.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for the team to meet such an amazing player and person as Serge and it was a testament to Wasps how seriously they take their commitment to be involved in all aspects of the local community.
“It was amazing how easy Serge took to playing our sport and I even tried to sign him up for us for next season, but I don’t think we could afford his wages!”
If anyone is interested in trying a new sport and new challenge, the Bears are always looking for the next star player. The Bears are also looking for volunteers to help with the running of the club, plus anyone interested in sponsoring the team.
You can also follow them at www.bearswbc.com, on Facebook by searching Warwickshire Bears Wheelchair Basketball Academy and on Twitter @WarwickBearsWBC.