WARWICKSHIRE Bears Wheelchair Basketball Club took the opportunity to showcase their sport in the community when they appeared at the Ricoh Arena’s Jaguar Centre on Saturday.
Their visit to Coventry formed part of the pre-match entertainment in the Wasps Fan Village ahead of the Aviva Premiership rugby union encounter between Wasps and Newcastle Falcons.
The Bears were invited to showcase wheelchair basketball and also highlight Wasps’ ongoing attempts to form links with local clubs.
There was a mini-basketball court set up with spare basketball wheelchairs provided by the British Wheelchair Basketball Association for anyone interested in having a go themselves.
The Bears provided some coaching and encouragement and they were successful in getting a number of local children and parents to get in the wheelchairs provided and join in with the fun.
At one point they even managed to persuade Carlo Festuccia, Wasps’ Italian hooker, to have a go himself.
The Bears were then treated to free tickets to see Wasps beat the Falcons 9-8.
Bears head coach Tom Masterson said: “Firstly I’d like to thank Wasps Rugby Club and their Community Development manager Verity Brown for inviting the Bears.
“It was a great event and opportunity for the Bears to appear before a bigger audience and to showcase wheelchair basketball to a wider audience.
“It gave us the chance to try and get the message out that you don’t need to be a wheelchair-user to play.
“Having an injury that prevents you playing able-bodied team sports such as rugby may make you eligible to be classified to play wheelchair basketball. Anyone who is able-bodied can play.
Brown added: “It was great to have the Bears attend our Big Community Day Out. Lots of Wasps fans and our very own Carlo Festuccia got to experience what wheelchair basketball was all about.”
The Bears are back in league action on Sunday when they host Maidstone Warriors and Bears 2nds take on Cardiff Celts 2nds at Warwickshire College’s Henley-in-Arden site from 11am.
The Bears are still looking for a sponsor for the team and are always looking to recruit new members, especially female and junior players. Anyone interested can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07946 518354.