I am Rosey and I have been playing wheelchair basketball since September 2016. I have a form of Cerebral Palsy described as spastic asymmetrical tetraplegia which basically means that all my limbs are affected but my left side more so than the right.
I was always into sports as a child and competed in both horse riding and running competitions at a national level but as I got older, I developed problems with my hips (later discovered to be osteoarthritis) which stopped me from being able to compete in these sports again.
I then moved to Hull to go to university and desperately wanted to join a sports club to be like the rest of my friends but there was absolutely nothing that was inclusive. In 2016 I studied abroad as part of my degree but as it was the year of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, my university had introduced an inclusive sports programme and I was devastated that I was unable to take part. Luckily, two students who took part in that programme decided to set up a wheelchair basketball club the year I returned to Hull. I went to the taster session at the end of September and completely loved it.
Within 6 months of starting the team, we were playing at university championships and came 2nd of out 16 teams! As much as I loved playing at university, it was my final year and if I wanted to carry on playing, I had to find somewhere closer to home. Also whilst I enjoyed playing in the team at the university I didn’t have much confidence as I’d not been involved individually a lot within the team who were all a lot more physically able than me.
I then joined Vikings in July 2017 and although initially being nervous, I fit in straight away. The team has a mix of disabled and none disabled players with various levels of physical ability. This alone helped me realise that with support from the coaches and rest of the team I could concentrate on my strengths in the sport. As of September 2018, I have been playing for Vikings’ national league team and Wakefield Whirlwinds’ women’s league team and I absolutely love it although admittedly not believing I was good enough to play at the beginning but I do now. However, what I love about Vikings is that not only are we a team, we are like a family who all look out for one another and build up each other when that is needed. Having a much weaker left arm can be very frustrating at times but I’ve always got my team mates to give me the encouragement I need when I get do get frustrated. I may not be the most physically able player in the team but according to some of the coaches my loud voice and communication can make up for it.
Oh and I really do enjoy training and playing even if my face on the photographs tell a different story haha!
I am so “proud to be a Viking”.