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Paralympic Games Spotlight: Wheelchair Basketball

The Paralympic Games are in full swing in Tokyo and we wanted to highlight another one of these amazing sports for you and your little ones!

Today we are going to talk about another sport that can be played in a wheelchair – wheelchair basketball! It keeps most of the major rules and scoring of basketball and even STILL has a 10 foot basketball hoop and standard basketball court! How cool is that? There is a big difference though, if you are deemed to be travelling (when the athlete touches their wheels more than twice after receiving or dribbling the ball) they HAVE to pass, bounce or shoot the ball before touching the wheels again. 

It is a fast game and, in some countries (like Canada, Australia and England) non-disabled athletes using wheelchairs are allowed to compete alongside other athletes on mixed teams.

In 1944, Ludwig Guttmann, through the rehabilitation program at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, adapted existing sports to use wheelchairs. It was originally known as wheelchair netball. In the 1940s, wheelchair basketball games were played primarily between American World War II disabled veterans!

There are currently 17,000 people playing the sport in the UK with a MASSIVE 200+ teams. It is a sport of skill and physicality on the court and provides competitors with the tools to become more resilient and independent in their everyday lives. 

In a recent survey, 78% of members said that wheelchair basketball has had a positive impact on their mental health, and 21% of all national league players are non-disabled. Check out more information here

Look out for some of wheelchair basketball’s top performers like Laurie Williams, Robyn Love and Shaun Norris who are all having outstanding performances this year!

Check out our other Paralympic blogs here and best of luck to these amazing athletes from everyone at Banjo HQ!

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