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.
Local wheelchair basketball charity, The Bolton Bulls Wheelchair Basketball Club, have launched an urgent fundraising appeal.
Bolton Bulls are hoping to raise £5,000 to help the charity pay for the annual running costs beyond the current 2018-19 basketball season.
The high running costs include weekly training sessions and competitive home matches requiring court hire, officials fees and other costs.
Steve Aston, Club Secretary at Bolton Bulls, said ”The club in its most basic form costs around £5,000 per annum to run. This figure doesn’t include any capital costs such as the purchase of basketball specific wheelchairs which cost in the region of £2-3k.”
“Given the lack of sponsorship available in the sport generally and more specifically in the lower divisions we’re heavily dependant on grants and the generosity of the public and local businesses.”
As the only club in Bolton and the surrounding areas, Bolton Bulls provide a vital sporting and social activity for disabled people and able bodied people on a weekly basis.
As an all inclusive club, Bolton Bulls can offer a rare opportunity for people of all genders, age groups, abilities and disabilities to play together in one team. Bolton Bulls are very much a grassroots club, with many players being new to the sport over the last year or two.
Kayli English, 17, has played for Bolton Bulls for 2 years and has recently represented the North West at the National Junior Championships.
Kayli said “Bolton Bulls is the club that first introduced me to wheelchair basketball at the ‘Sport On The Square’ event in Bolton and since joining the club in 2016 they have helped me develop my ability and knowledge of the sport, allowing me to become a more competent player.”
“The club have also introduced me to other pathways such as Junior League and regional skills camps which aid my progression. I aspire to further my skills within basketball and hopefully play wheelchair basketball at Paralympic level.”
“As well as developing my basketball skills, Bolton Bulls have helped me with other things outside of sport for example my confidence. Before I joined, I tended to be rather shy in social situations whereas playing basketball with the team has brought out and strengthened my confidence.”
A fundraising page has been set up on JustGiving at https://www.justgiving.com/urgent-appeal-for-bolton-bulls and the charity is appealing to anyone who is able and willing to help them to give what they can.
The club is also hoping to speak to local businesses regarding sponsorship opportunities and would invite any interested businesses to contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.