The Bolton Bulls wheelchair basketball club provides wheelchair basketball to people of all ages, disabilities and gender from all over the North West of England including Bolton, Bury, Blackburn, Wigan and Stockport.
I thought we'd have something different on the blog for a change. To this end, we've invited Chris from Bolton FM to give us his thoughts on his recent visit to training.
As one of the presenters of Bolton FM's Saturday (currently Summer) Sport show, you'd think it would be good idea to participate in sports within the Bolton area. It doesn't matter what it is, just so long as you make it feel important to the people do it and to the listener who might give it a try.
So when I went along to Smithills Sports Centre at the start of May to interview the chairman of the Bolton Bulls Wheelchair Basketball Club, something interesting happened. I mentioned that we (meaning the Saturday Sport team) were looking for challenges to do over the summer, and just like that I was asked if I and two or three other people from Bolton FM wanted to face the Bolton Bulls in an exhibition match, which I was quite up for and decided to do on behalf of the Bolton FM team.
After setting the date for the 3rd July, I went along to have a practice session on 19th June. My goodness, does this team love what they do! They practice shooting into the basket like there’s no tomorrow, they go back and forth on the court in their wheelchairs to boost their fitness. And then there was a no holds barred ‘scrimmage’ that took place after all the practice I had taken part in. Scrimmage meaning scoring more points than the other team (naturally) while avoiding clattering into your opponents (or sometimes your own team mates).
By the time the evening was over my shoulders were aching from the amount of pushing I had done in my wheelchair (which the team had gladly set me up when I arrived at 8:15) clearly because of the amount of hard work and effort put in by each and every person that was there that evening. Nonetheless, I looked forward to the exhibition match with real excitement. When we turned up for the match, coach Dan Craddock (a tough but fair man by the way) had Jim Heggie train us so that we would be as ready as possible for the showdown.
Needless to say by the time it was all over, we were tired but thrilled to have taken part in such a wonderful sport. And that’s why you should give something like this a go. Wheelchair basketball is one of the only sports I’m aware of where able-bodied people can play alongside disabled people and you have so much fun that you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried this sooner. It’s both a workout and night out with very friendly people. And they invited us to come back whenever we wanted. And we’ll definitely be doing that on a weekly basis! I recommend you do so every Thursday night at Smithills Sports Centre from 8:30 – 10:30pm. I promise that you’ll love it.