Wheelchair basketball challenge promotes inclusion in sports

The annual Bo Hedges wheelchair basketball challenge was hosted at Ma Murray school on Thursday with more than 30 people taking part.

Attendees ranged in age from three to 55, including students who stayed after school, as well as the Hedges family. Everyone took a spin and shot some hoops in a wheelchair, raising their awareness of the challenges in playing a sport using a wheelchair.

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The game became furiously competitive when the local forest fire fighters dropped in. This is the third year they have participated and find the event a highlight of their summers in Fort St. John by being able to interact with the community and play against each other.

The game was paused briefly for the final minute of the Raptors game, which was projected on the gym wall for everyone to enjoy.

An added bonus was that Hedges was at the event while he was home for a short break from his intense summer of practices and international game competitions. He and the Canadian men's team are preparing for the 2020 Paralympic qualifying tournament, Para Pan American Games, hosted by Peru in August. The Paralympics in Japan would be Bo’s fourth games.

"It's great to see everyone enjoying playing," Hedges said. "Coming home and being able to spend a night with family, friends and the community playing the sport I love means a lot to me."

Thanks to Pacific Sport and the City of Fort St. John, which provide the wheelchairs for these types of events and to schools within the area, promoting inclusivity for children who are not able bodied. 

— Angela De Smit

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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