Vikings Wheelchair Basketball
Mark Leyland
Yesterday was the 18th of September 2016. It is exactly 5 years 8 months and 15 days since my running accident, how time flies while you are having fun. Yes I have had fun since my accident; this was partly due to me finding the sport of wheelchair basketball.

I was introduced to this marvel of a sport while I was recovering from spinal cord injury in Southport hospital spinal unit, by Mr Steve Rimmer.

Steve would come into the unit on a Tuesday evening and encourage patients to join him and a few others to take part in playing wheelchair basketball at the hospital sports hall. After I had finished my long recovery period at Southport spinal unit I started to play basketball at Bolton Bulls as I thought it was the closest club. I also still attend Southport on Tuesday nights. By this time I needed to have my own chair as the one I was using at Bolton was not ideal for me, but was appreciated.

I had a chat with Steve who advised me of different funding routes I could take and soon after I obtained my own basketball chair I joined St Helens Vikings wheelchair basketball club which wasn’t too far away. This club is more like a family and is a pleasure to be part of, the other members are very friendly and always there to lend a hand or advise when needed.

I have been part of this club now for a few years and have had the pleasure to see how our junior members have grown in skill and confidence over this time. They also help keep me young at heart !

The club has given me the confidence to deal with my disability and helped me to feel involved and connected.
It is a great way to keep fit and the weight off, but also combining it with a social outlet that’s a pleasure to be part of.

​​Thank you Vikings

Mark Leyland (age 49 and 3 quarters)