28 Jul 2008

The talents of Beijing-bound basketballer Caroline Matthews have been enlisted to tempt youngsters into wheelchair basketball.

Disability Sport Wales, working with the Great Britain Basketball Association and in partnership with the Cardiff CELTS Wheelchair Basketball Club and Swansea Storm Basketball Club, is running a series of junior wheelchair basketball taster sessions across South Wales over the summer holidays.

Matthews is taking time out of her busy training schedule to coordinate and attend the sessions and says she is "thrilled to be able to contribute" to the promotion of the sports she loves:

"Wheelchair Basketball gave me something incredible at a time when I just didn’t know how to cope with the changes in my life." Caroline had always been very sporty until the osteo-arthritis in her knees became so severe that she needed a wheelchair.

She started playing wheelchair basketball in 1999 and, just three years later, the Cardiff sportswoman was in the Great Britain women’s wheelchair basketball squad:

"Since then I have never looked back. I have been to every major international tournament since I joined the team – including the Athens Paralympics and it is just the most amazing experience. I have been selected for the Beijing Paralympics later this year and I am so excited. It’s such an honour to be asked to represent your country."

The junior wheelchair basketball sessions are running across South and West Wales with sessions taking place in Cardiff, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, Bridgend and Swansea. The sessions are free and are aimed at young people between the ages of seven and 24 years but everyone is welcome.

As Matthews explains, "Wheelchair Basketball is a brilliant sport – it can be enjoyed by people regardless of age, sex or ability. This is an excellent opportunity to try the sport at a venue near you. I hope the programme is a huge success."

More information and details regarding the sessions please call or email