Social Inclusion Week – Wheelchair Basketball
In honour of Social Inclusion Week, our staff are sharing their own stories of inclusion. Writing about his love of wheelchair basketball is Adam Popham.
I moved over to Australia when I was 6 years old and because of that, my parents were very eager for me to join a local team and learn to play AFL, as is customary for young kids in WA. Whilst I enjoyed the sport, I never felt like I truly fit in with the rest of my teammates and, particularly on those rainy Sundays, I really didn’t want to be there.
Fast forward to when I was 14 and I wasn’t playing AFL anymore, my Dad needed fill-ins for his Wheelchair Basketball team. My brother and I got the call for our debut game. The first game was extremely challenging. Learning to control a wheelchair was difficult, let alone when you’re carrying and bouncing a basketball with you and I definitely could not muster the strength to get the ball high enough to score in a full-height basketball ring.
The thing I noticed was that while I got along well with the players on my team, I also got along well with the players on the other team and I continued to experience the same thing each week. 6 years later, and on a different team, I feel like I can have a conversation with anyone, in any league, and I’ve found a place where I’m comfortable being who I want to be every Monday night.
Adam Popham is an Inclusion Consultant at Inclusion Solutions
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