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  • 25 March 2014 00:00
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Paralympian inspires youngsters at Sportivate Wheelchair Basketball project in Sussex

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Wheelchair rugby Paralympian Andy Barrow has helped inspire youngsters in a special Sportivate Wheelchair Basketball project at Collyer’s Sixth Form College in Horsham, Sussex.

Sportivate is the £56 million London 2012 legacy project that gives more young people between 11 and 25 the chance to discover a sport that they love.

In his role as a Sport England Sporting Champion, Andy shared his inspirational sporting journey, which began when he discovered disability sport following a spinal cord injury at the age of 17.

"Disability sport allowed me to make something good out of my accident,” said Andy.

"Rather than give up, I decided to start playing Wheelchair Rugby.”

Andy became one of Britain’s top wheelchair rugby players and represented GB at three consecutive Paralympics at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

 Andy also won a hat-trick of titles at the European Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007 in a glittering career that ended when Andy retired following London 2012. 

"If you really want something and work hard at it,” said Andy.

"Absolutely anything is possible.”

A total of 15 young disabled people attended the Sportivate session.

It was the last in a block of six sessions providing an introduction to skills development and gameplay that was delivered by coach Louis Power of Horsham District Council.

The participants were full of praise of the Sportivate project, including 11-year-old Jamie.
"I find the sessions really interesting,” he said.

"It’s fun to play basketball as I hardly get to play it anywhere else.”

To view a video of the Sportivate Wheelchair Basketball project, Click Here 

To find out more about Sporting Champions, Click Here 
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