What drew you to wheelchair basketball; what about the sport made you want to try it out and want to keep playing?

111509-KendraAskaPlayer

“When I first got involved in wheelchair basketball the timing was perfect because I was looking to get involved in something, but I didn’t know what.   A former basketball player saw me in a store and asked if I would be interested in playing wheelchair basketball.

I was a little confused at first when he told me that he played for a men’s team in Calgary because he was walking.  What I didn’t know at the time was that he was an amp.  (Note: In Canada both athletes with a disability and able-bodied athletes are encouraged to enjoy the sport together. They are able to compete fairly against one another because of the classification system. – see [classification]  for more information).

I decided to go check it out one night, and I saw men flying up and down the court in wheelchairs.  They were hitting each other and flying through the air across each others laps. (In those days they didn’t use straps to secure themselves to their chairs).  They just hopped back into their chairs and got right back into the game again.  I thought it looked like it would be a lot of fun – bashing around with a bunch of guys – so I jumped in a spare chair and cruised around. I loved the feeling of it and was hooked from that point on.

I have continued to play for all these years because I love the people and the sport.  (The traveling around the globe helps as well, and the time off work is pretty great too.)  I also love the fact that everyone is making sacrifices for the same reason.  The National team is like a very large family where everyone is working together to achieve a common goal. We are always encouraging each other to be better. We understand all of the common up’s and down’s, and sacrifices that have to be made in order to be a part of something so special. The team concept is so much bigger than each of us as individuals.  It’s a great feeling that I highly advise anyone to experience at any level.

I have met so many people over the years who tell me how lucky I am to be a part of this……and you know what………..they’re right!”


 

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