Plymouth Raiders is excited to announce that the Plymouth Storm Wheelchair team will be joining the club family and competing as Plymouth Raiders Wheelchair Basketball from this season onwards.
It’s a merger both organisations felt would provide the best possible platform to grow the wheelchair sport in the region, and increase participation and awareness of what is a thrilling, fast paced game.
Wheelchair Basketball is the largest Paralympic Sport, with its roots going back to the late 40’s. Initially a rehabilitation and recreational activity for spinal cord injured patients, it quickly developed into a competitive sport and today the GB National Wheelchair Basketball League consists of 65 teams playing in 9 Divisions. It embraces a wide range of disabilities including paraplegics, spina bifida, amputees, brittle bones, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis; virtually everyone who can conceivably play wheelchair basketball is encouraged to do so.
Aaron Blyth-Palk, Club Secretary for Plymouth Storm, now Plymouth Raiders Wheelchair Basketball said: “It’s an exciting time to become part of the Plymouth Raiders Family. The new owners have already shown intent in trying to get basketball thriving in Plymouth and to get the spark back within the city.
“Although Plymouth Storm Wheelchair Basketball has been around for almost 7 years now, we have struggled to create as much awareness as we would have hoped in this time. We hope that becoming part of the Raiders family will help us raise more awareness within and around the city and get more people not only playing wheelchair basketball but disability sports in general.
“As a club, we are committed to continue trying to break boundaries and stigmas around disability sports and who can play. We are super excited to start this new chapter of the club and be working alongside and being part of the new look Plymouth Raiders.”
Raiders Director Richard Mollard said: “I’m incredibly excited about the Storm joining the Raiders family. The wheelchair version of the sport is not only great to play and watch, but also demonstrates what a fantastic, inclusive and versatile sport basketball really is.
“To have the opportunity to work with Aaron and the team and help build on the great work they have already done to increase awareness and grow participation numbers was an opportunity not to be missed.
To celebrate the coming together of these great organisation, the Raiders will be holding a number of wheelchair events throughout the year to share information about the sport, how it’s played and how to get involved.