Continental Clash 3 – International Wheelchair Basketball Summary

Another tournament has been and gone, I can’t believe this tournament is in it’s third year hosted at the University of Worcester.

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Since the University Arena was opened I have spent a lot time officiating Basketball games at all levels there.  This week showed this venue concerned itself with disability sport and Basketball.  On the first day of the tournament there were two games with Great Britain playing the Netherlands.  In between those two games I tried to get some work done for my day job, which didn’t really work but I did get to see the Great Britain Women’s team from the running game train.  The head coach Peter Buckle spoke with some of the Wheelchair team and this for me was really poignant to show Basketball all under one roof.  There wasn’t any “them and us” attitude between the wheelchair and running game.

The games were spaced out to replicate the large gaps in fixtures Great Britain will encounter whilst at the World Championships.  As always I took my knitting and laptop to fill the time between games and got to know more of the staff from the governing body GBWBA.

The communications team from the University of Worcester who always make time to capture all of the Basketball at the arena have taken more photos.

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Thank you for your usage & click here to see more shots from the showcase game held yesterday.

If you want to look at all of the results and stats from the tournament click here.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish all participating countries the best of luck at the World Championships in Canada & Korea.  Including the NTO’s, ITO’s and organising committees.

Continental Clash 3 – International Wheelchair Basketball

Today is day two of the 3rd Continental Clash tournament held at Worcester University’s arena.

 

Yesterday saw Great Britain play Netherlands.  I officiated one game and assessed an up and coming official.  The first day consisted of two games.  This morning saw Great Britain play the Netherlands again and this afternoon Japan are playing the Netherlands.

For live stats please visit the GBWBA website

Usually I try and take photos whilst I am at these great events but on this occasion the Communications Team from the University of Worcester have kindly given me permission to use their photos.  To see more great moments check out their Facebook page.

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People you meet along the way – Lee Taylor

I was officiating my last wheelchair game of the regular season and a player that I mentioned way back in September 2012 in a previous blog entry took to the floor, his name is Lee Taylor. image Lee has been competing for CBWBA in Coventry for the last two seasons and has improved leaps and bounds.  So I thought I would take this opportunity to ask Lee some questions about himself and his involvement in wheelchair Basketball.

How old are you?

34

What is your classification?

3.0

How did you get involved in Wheelchair Basketball?

The Paralympics in London spurred me on to find a sport to play, so via a search engine on the internet I found my local basketball team contacted the coach and here I am 18 months later.

 

What do you enjoy the most about playing Wheelchair Basketball?

I was very much into football and rugby before I had my disability.  What I enjoy now is being part of a team again.  I look forward to training and enjoy every second of it, even the conditioning drills which are tough. I am really starting to get a love for the game.

 

What is your biggest obstacle when playing Wheelchair Basketball?

At the moment my fitness is, I’m a little larger than I wish to be which obviously slows me down, but I’m working on this.  Part of my disability was the loss of some of my fingers on my right hand and I am right handed, therefore I’m forced to use my left hand to dribble, shoot and catch.  My disability has affected my dominant right hand for 20 years so my left hand is pretty strong for a right handed person.

 

If you could ask a referee or table official anything, what would you ask them?

I generally ask referees when playing why I have been penalised cause I sometime foul but do not realise I have.

 

Is there a player within the game of Wheelchair Basketball you would like to meet, if so who?

In all honesty I have never really watched much basketball and even less wheelchair basketball, so apart from Patrick Anderson (Who I am told is one of if not the best) I do not know any others.  I am very much in awe of the players on the team I play for, there are youngsters who are destined for great things and older experienced players who have so much patience.  Because of these guys I learn something new every time I play so I have a lot of respect for them.

 

What motivates you to keep playing Wheelchair Basketball?

My desire to become a better player, I’m very much a team player.  If I’m on the bench because there is a stronger player on court then I am absolutely fine with that, I do aspire to become that stronger player though.

 

Do you feel your game has improved since you started playing? Certainly, I feel more confident when training and playing but still have a lot to learn but yes I have improved since starting.

 

Has anybody given you any great advice about playing Wheelchair Basketball?

Every time I am in my chair and around my team mates I am constantly getting good advice.

 

What would you say to someone who wants to start playing Wheelchair Basketball but isn’t sure they can?

Go for it!  It’s not easy, it physically and mentally challenging, there are so many things to think about before you even get the ball into a shooting position but what a buzz when you score a basket.

Tri-Nations Cup

This time last week GBWBA hosted the Tri-nations Cup at the University Arena in Worcester.  This event brought together the women of Great Britain, Japan and the current Paralympic champions Germany.
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It was lovely to see and catch up with so many people, also watch the squad who will represent Great Britain at the end of June at the World Championships in Canada.

The first day of this competition was busy for me as I was officiating as well as assessing an up and coming official.  To top off the day I officiated a BBL professional game.  I do find it nerve racking when I have a number of my peers watching, but I am trying to see it as an opportunity for continual learning.  I see this as being really important when I am mentoring other table officials.

Here are some of the photos I took over the tournament & I would like to wish good luck to all officials and players taking part in Canada.

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International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and is held every year to “celebrate 

the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.”

I would like to celebrate and mention the women involved in the sport of Wheelchair Basketball.  Those who compete, coach, officiate, volunteer & administrate.

Here are a  photos from the Women’s League  programme held in Great Britain this season.  Thank you Alison Flower for the photos.

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The United Nations give IWD a theme every year and this year’s theme is “inspiring change”.  I will be telling you more about how I am trying help inspire change through mentoring in future blogs.  GBWBA have some passionate and committed women coaches.  Read here a little more about them.

The first time you………

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“But if you never try, you’ll never know” This is quote I came across last weekend on social media.  I officiated three Wheelchair Basketball games.  Which isn’t the first time for me but my first game was the first time a potential new official completed his first score book.

Ryan is a member of the Birmingham Blackcats Wheelchair Basketball Club.  His uncle is the coach (Rob) and it is a family affair as Rob’s wife is assistant coach.  Ryan has been helping for sometime and I thought I would ask if he was ready to complete the score book and he said yes.  We explained to the referees that this was first time Ryan was doing the score book and they were very understanding. The game wasn’t understanding and wasn’t compromised either.  It was great game to challenge Ryan as the scores were close and included lots of aspects of the rules that you learn when you complete a table officials course.

At the end of the game I asked Ryan how did he find doing the score book for the first and he said it was fine.  So he has agreed to do it again for the next home game.

As the quote says at the beginning of this post you will never know.  As an official and as a person you sometimes need to step out of your comfort zone and try new things for the first time.  Like Ryan it could be completing your first score book, getting into a chair and trying to play the game of Wheelchair Basketball or like me writing blog articles that could be read by many people.
The main thing is you give it a try and ask yourself when was the last time did you do something new for the first time?

The Season so far

Hello there I have been meaning to write some blogs since September about Basketball and Wheelchair Basketball in the UK.  Life sometimes gets in the way, so in my case a knee injury has been the main thing.  This has led to a change in careers but Basketball has always been there.  In previous blogs I mentioned people I know through basketball as family.  Sometimes I forget I officiate Basketball games because I actually enjoy it and the sport has helped me stay off the streets when I was younger, kept me grounded/stable when my life has been chaos and given me honest answers to questions I ask.  I don’t think a sport can do this without the people who work, volunteer and participate.  The season in the UK has been in full swing since September.  So managing to keep people updated sometimes can be hard.  Here are some of the events, games and my highlights from the season so far.  Early September London hosted National Paralympic Day.  Some of you know I work for an organisation that provides funding from the National Lottery and they have pledged £348,000 to the day.  I thought I would go and soak up the atmosphere.  Oh boy the vibe in the Copper Box was great, I got talking to some people who hadn’t been to the park whilst the games where taking place and wanted to come. I sat watched GB women play Spain.  It’s nice to be able to watch and watch the women play so well and you can see some of my photos here.

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At the end of September I had to take a rules test, this happens every year.  Like previous years the fear I get comes back, will I pass the test? If I don’t pass I won’t get any games.  However this year outcome was different, I passed first time.  This didn’t stop me from questioning my ability and asking did I pass because the test was easier? If you don’t put in the work you cannot reap the rewards, even revising in my lunch breaks.

There has been some really interesting and positive things happening here in the UK.  Like the opportunity to win an introduction in Officiating Wheelchair Basketball course, congratulations to the winning club.

Also an officials mentoring workshop, I am hoping to be involved with this as I really want to give back and keep developing as an official and as a person.

So Happy New Year and I hope 2014 and the rest of your season brings you everything you want.  Thank you again for reading my blog entries and learning about Wheelchair Basketball through my eyes.

One last memory – London 2012

There were too many memories to say one stood out from everything else.  So here are some more pictures.

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The strapline “Inspire a generation” could be seen everywhere across the park and the village.  We all have to play our part to inspire a generation, if that means we share our stories of how we got involved with Wheelchair Basketball, volunteer some of our time or be the best officials we can be.

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This photo shows the gym within the Paralymic village which is now part of Chobham Academy a school which opened last week.

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This little character entertained officials more than you will ever know, he looks like the Gruffalo from a storybook.  He was actually an Angus Aberdeen cow.  “Angus” had some adventures and could even stat a game of Wheelchair basketball by the end of the games.

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As part of our accommodation there was a residents centre and all of the gamemakers who were on duty were all really nice.  They tried to help with every question and issue thrown at them, even at the end of long shifts they were full of life.  In the mornings they would be playing music and on this particular morning they were dancing  some salsa.

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Many who walked around the village would of remembered the guy with the mustache, cigar and big hat.  Well I plucked up the courage to approach him and ask to take his photo.  I later found out this guy was called Jose Luis Rios, known as “bigos” and he has been to every Paralympic Games since Seoul  1988 with the Mexian squad.  He didn’t speak any English but was really friendly, he gave my camera to games maker to take this photo.

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After one of my late games I took a walk through the village and the park there was loads of atmosphere.  The Globe was within the village for the athletes and in the park there were bands playing.

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Mandeville was the Paralympic mascot for London 2012 and I wouldn’t usually get excited about a soft toy but when I came across this Mandeville in one of the merchandise stores I did.  It was the same height as myself, I thought it was cool.

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On the final day of competition these were some of my lasting memories.  Some of the Canadian ladies team went all out with their attire before cheering on the men to Gold.   The lady in the other picture is part of my Wheelchair basketball family and is from Belgium.   She came over to volunteer and made me aware that people from all over the world will volunteer because of their love of the Paralymic games.

IMG_0963 As the games came to an end we were given a certificate of participation and a medal, I still haven’t decided how I would like to present them.

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Finally when I took my belongings to UPS to send them home, yes there was no way I could carry  all my uniform.  Myself and my roommate went to the postoffice.  I decided to send myself a postcard, partly to cheer myself up when I was at home and have a written record of my time in the village.

As the postcard says It’s been amazing.

More memories – London 2012 Part 3

I will be sharing more images with you but the London 2012 Paralympics has changed people’s perception of disability sport.  So much so London will be hosting a National Paralympic Day

This  National Paralympic Day will be held on the first day of competition at the U23 World Championships in Turkey, check out the website for more information.  It is always exciting to see fellow officials record their experiences before, during and after competition.  So good luck and enjoy everyone.

Here are some more images London 2012.

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More memories – London 2012 Part 2

I think I got quite emotional when writing the first part of this blog and didn’t think one year on so many emotions would be evoked.

At this time of the year teams from all over Great Britain are confirming their fixture lists, officials are revising for rules tests and getting in shape for the season ahead.

This Wednesday one year ago the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games was held.  I still feel very blessed to actually attend such an amazing event.

Once we picked up our dinner off we went.
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I still use my case to take my lunch to work sometimes.  I thought the contents were quite posh, but were a twist on english classics.

When we got into the stadium there was so much going on without any athletes or presentations.  Here are some more of my photos.

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More photos can looked at on Pinterest.

Here are some facts about the opening ceremony:

  • Great Britain’s first ever Paralympic gold medalist Margaret Maughan lit the Paralympic Cauldron.
  • The Ceremony took the form of a play, based around William Shakespere’s The Tempest.
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