Ausnew Home Care | Wheelchair basketball changed my life

Wheelchair basketball changed my life. Now I'm aiming for the Paralympics

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Heywire winner, Aaliyah

I train every day.

I do 10 kilometres up and down hills around the Nambucca Valley.

I do an hour or two in the pool, doing laps and different stretches to build up my strength.

And then I'm on the basketball court, ready for more work.

In my wheelchair.

At the age of three, I was diagnosed with a trauma spinal cord injury, brain injury and nerve dysfunction.

I've faced many different challenges throughout my childhood because of that injury.

I was so miserable about all the sports I couldn't play … before I discovered wheelchair basketball.

Wheelchair sports changed my life.

I can do something I'm really passionate about, that's my thing.

I know my wheels are pumped up, there's no loose bolts and my chair is set to my height.

I'm trying not to touch other chairs while dribbling — I'm pushing the chair twice while back-spinning the basketball.

One hand on the wheel, while the other one is bouncing the ball.

When I meet other girls who have a disability and love wheelchair basketball, I feel like I can be myself a bit more.

I can be really good at something.

I get to be part of a team and travel to new places. Sydney, Canberra, Sunshine Coast, Port Macquarie.

I'm in the under-25s Australian Devils and the under-20s New South Wales Blues Juniors.

It's very difficult to manage my passion for wheelchair basketball and also my HSC for school.

But I always make time for both and balance each one out.

Even though we have a disability, we can be as good as Olympians.

Paralympians have to work so hard — able-bodied people don't have to use a wheelchair to play sport.

You can still play sport if you have a disability. Don't let your disability let you down.

The end goal is for me to achieve and make the Australian Gliders women's wheelchair basketball team.

My ultimate goal is to make the Paralympics team for Paris 2024.

That's my dream for the future. That's why I train so hard. That's what keeps me going.

As my favourite Paralympian, Dylan Alcott, says: "Never give up, never give in."


Source: ABC

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