Wheelchair basketball club launched at Brixton Rec

Dozens of youngsters rolled up for the launch of a new wheelchair basketball club at Brixton Recreation Centre (Rec), Station Road.

The free club, every Saturday from 2-om to 4pm, is for people of all ages, disabled or able bodied, to have a go at the sport and even play competitively.

It has been made possible after Lambeth School Sport Programme teamed up with the council and British Wheelchair Basketball to run the club, which hopes to partner with the Blog’s favourite basketball team, the Brixton Topcats.

Head coach Austin Kentebe, known to the players as Coach K, said the sport was perfect for both able bodied and disabled people.

“What people don’t realize is that the chair becomes part of you, like driving a car,” he told the Blog.

“My son is nine, and he plays running basketball and wheelchair basketball equally. They are very different sports.”

Kentebe maintains the sport is also a good remedy to the problem of gang violence in places like Brixton, adding: “when you get kids together to play basketball they are just going to play the sport.”

Dad Michael Facey had brought his twin sons Mason and Alfie to the launch last Saturday.

He said: “They brought the wheelchair basketball into their school and since then they haven’t been talking about anything else. I am going to bring them every week.

“What’s interesting about the sport is that able-bodied kids like Alfie and Mason can play it. It makes them appreciate life a bit better.”

Lambeth cllr Florence Nosegbe wasn’t afraid to have a go as she jumped into a wheelchair at the Rec before shooting hoops with varying success.

She told the blog she was proud the council could support projects like wheelchair basketball after the Coalition Government cut funding to school sports partnerships.

“Everyone should come down and have a go at this and see that sport really can be fun. After the Olympics I am going to make sure that Lambeth is at the forefront of the legacy spending,” she said.