Craigavon Lakers embracing new facilities

Craigavon Lakers embracing new facilities

Craigavon Lakers are on the lookout for more players with training take place every Wednesday night at the South Lake Leisure Centre.

Jonathan McNabb

Reporter:

Jonathan McNabb

Email:

info@yourlurgan.com

The Chairperson of Craigavon Lakers Wheelchair Basketball Club admits training at the South Lake Leisure Centre has been “a game changer” as they seek new recruits.

In an interview with Your Lurgan, Anna Shields, revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has left the club down to five players but they remain optimistic of getting back into the swing of things.

The Lakers are the only wheelchair basketball club based in the ABC Council area and provides individuals with a physical disability the chance to be able to take part in sport and recreation.

The inclusive amateur community club recently celebrated their third birthday last month and Anna has issued a rallying cry for more players to come forward so that they can continue in the years ahead.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had 25 players and were competing in the inaugural year of the Northern Ireland Basketball League,” she said.

“However, due to lifestyles, illnesses and other priorities, the pandemic really affected us and we are now down to five players.

“We are open to males and females of all abilities aged 14 and over who want to meet new friends, learn new skills and be part of a great community.

“It is also for those who able-bodied, like myself, and it would surprise you how many people play the sport.

“I took up wheelchair basketball after my dad lost his leg and it gave us something to do but we ended up absolutely loving it!”

The Club trained at the South Lake Leisure for the first time on Wednesday night and Anna thanked all the volunteers who continue to give up their time on a weekly basis.

“Unfortunately, due to numbers, we have had to pull out of this year’s NI Basketball League which started last week,” she continued.

“However, we are more than determined than ever to build ourselves back up and play next year.

“We have one coach and two volunteers at every training session and there are four members on the committee, so we have a great bunch of people behind the scenes.

“The facilities at the South Lake Leisure Centre are unbelievable and we just had our first training session earlier this week which was a game changer.

“We had been using St Anthony’s Hall in the interim and we would like to thank them for accommodating us.”

Craigavon Lakers train on Wednesday nights from 7pm to 8.30pm and interested players are urged to contact Anna (07835565099), or message the club’s Facebook page (@craigavonlakers).

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