Sarah Maltby takes a shot during the Harbour City Slam at the Oliver Woods Community Centre on May 11. The play day was organized to try to attract new participants to the sport. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo could use a new wave of players.

The Nanaimo Tsunami partnered with B.C. Wheelchair Basketball, including Comox Valley and Victoria programs, to present the Harbour City Slam earlier this month.

The play day at Oliver Woods Community Centre on May 11 included instructions and games as the Tsunami look to build their numbers.

Jocelyn Maffin, a Tsunami player and one of the organizers of the Harbour City Slam, said it can be rare for smaller communities to be able to have wheelchair basketball programs, so it’s important to keep participation numbers healthy.

“Without those opportunities, there’s not a lot of adapted sport for people with disabilities like myself to play,” Maffin said. “So getting more people involved is a really crucial part of being able to offer wheelchair basketball.”

People with disabilites and able-bodied people play alongside one another. Maffin said about half the participants at this month’s event hadn’t played the sport, and some were using a wheelchair for the first time.

“You don’t need any experience – able bodies, disabled can all play. We have the wheelchairs, so we’ll show you how to use them. We’re a community team so we focus on everyone having fun and getting good exercise,” she said. “When we play in the league or go in tournaments, sure, we play to win, but there’s room for all levels.”

Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum MLA and a former Paralympic gold medallist in wheelchair basketball and racing, was playing and helping out at the Harbour City Slam event and said it puts a smile on her face. She met her husband through wheelchair basketball – he was participating as an able-bodied player – and she said some people don’t know that it’s an integrated sport.

“So many of these people are brothers and sisters or friends, that are able-bodied that have a friend that live with a disability,” Stilwell said.

She said the sport can also appeal to people who are aging and may not be able to run, or run as fast, and wheelchair basketball can keep them in the game.

“It’s a great way to stay healthy and active no matter what your level of ability,” Stilwell said.

For more information about the Nanaimo Tsunami, visit www.facebook.com/nanaimotsunami.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Karen DeJong shoots toward the basket during the Harbour City Slam at the Oliver Woods Community Centre on May 11. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Just Posted

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Departure Bay terminal

B.C. Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Dump truck crash causes power outage in Nanaimo’s south end

No reports of injuries after crash Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

City of Nanaimo to hold invasive plant ‘drop zone’ event

Public invited to bring invasive plants to Bowen Park’s upper picnic shelter Saturday, May 30

International students ‘biggest unknown’ in Nanaimo school district’s budget planning

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ board will look at preliminary 2020-21 budget this week

Car cruise in Nanaimo lifts seniors’ spirits during pandemic

Cars 4 COVID includes Nanaimo Seniors Village in its route

Dump truck crash causes power outage in Nanaimo’s south end

No reports of injuries after crash Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

UPDATE: Woman airlifted with serious injuries, baby OK after crash in Nanaimo

Collision happened on Jingle Pot Road in East Wellington on Saturday afternoon

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read