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In September 2017, Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) launched the first ‘All-Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships’ which took place throughout 2017/2018. The unique initiative allows TY students across Ireland to engage in a disability awareness progamme and also experience a Paralympic sport, immersing TY students in a fast paced, edge of your seat game, providing an authentic first hand inclusive experience of this incredible game and wheelchair sports.
The inaugural Championships saw over 1000 students, alongside their PE teachers, TY Coordinators and peers taking part in the inclusive programme, whilst also raising funds for the vital services and supports IWA provides to people with physical disabilities.
Speaking about the first ever ‘All-Ireland Wheelchair Basketball Championships’, Charlene Hurley, IWA National Fundraising Manager explained:
The All-Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships invites Transition Year students to have the opportunity to take part in wheelchair basketball as a team and compete in a national event against their neighbouring schools. The programme includes regional finals with the top teams traveling to the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght to participate in the Championships Finals. Alongside this, schools raised over €50,000 by supporting IWA’s Angels Campaign by participating in fundraising events and activities. All funds raised by local schools will be invested in IWA services and supports in the schools local community.
The Grand Finals of the first ever All – Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships took place in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Tuesday, 13th March 2018. Fifteen schools reached the finals having successfully competed in regional finals. Following an action packed day of wheelchair basketball Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG, Cork rolled to victory claiming the title for the inaugural All-Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
Speaking at the finals, IWA-Sport Development Officer, Paul Ryan who coordinated the sports initiative and also refereed the national final between Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore Co. Waterford and Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG, Cork which finished 11 - 4.
Paul Ryan explained:
“The All-Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships aims to create an inclusive team sport for students of all abilities, alongside this it is an opportunity to overcome adversity and challenge attitudes through sport. We have had excellent feedback from students, PE Teachers and TY Coordinators about the initiative, all of who have left with a different outlook having competed in the programme”
For further information about the ‘All-Ireland TY Wheelchair Basketball Championships’ or to register your school for the 2018 / 2019 initiative please visit www.iwa.ie/basketball or contact Charlene Hurley, IWA National Fundraising Manager on 087 2600802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org