Darlington College students given a taste of wheelchair basketball

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sports students at Darlington College are given a taste of wheelchair basketball, centre, Tees Valley Titan coach Lee Fawcett with student Kane Cullen, right Sports students at Darlington College are given a taste of wheelchair basketball, centre, Tees Valley Titan coach Lee Fawcett with student Kane Cullen, right

STUDENTS have been pushing the boundaries of sport after taking to wheelchairs to play basketball.

Level three extended diploma in sports and exercise students from across the region teamed up with Tees Valley Titans in an initiative designed to promote inclusivity in sport.

Sportsmen and women from Darlington, Barnard Castle, Northallerton, Catterick, Stockton and Teesside took to the court at Darlington College to help them appreciate the challenges of competing with a disability.

The aim is also to launch a satellite Titans Wheelchair Sports Club in Darlington for disabled and able-bodied athletes.

Titans coach Lee Fawcett, of Middlesbrough, said: “Many people with disabilities never really mix with able-bodied young people until they are much older.

"Wheelchair basketball is designed to be completely inclusive and it is great to see players mix so naturally around a common love of sport.”

Student Kane Cullen, 17, of Darlington, who plays for Darlington Storm and Darlington College, aims to compete professionally one day.

He said: “I have really enjoyed the session. It feels really different trying to play basketball sitting down and it requires an incredible amount of upper body strength.

“I would love one day to play basketball professionally, whether that is for Newcastle Eagles or in the MBA in America. The Darlington College course has been excellent in helping me prepare for my future.”

Darlington College learning advisor Karley Cresser said the college was also planning to take part in wheelchair rugby to highlight the importance of inclusivity.

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