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Reporter tries wheelchair sport ahead of Paralympics

A regional daily reporter has trained with a wheelchair basketball team ahead of the Paralympic Games, as part of a feature to try out new sports.

Miranda Newey from The Bolton News set herself the challenge of attempting as many different sports as possible for the Olympic Games, with her already having a go at weight-lifting, handball, boxing and archery.

She has now carried out the last of her “Olympic Dream” challenges by training with the Bolton Bulls Wheelchair Basketball Club, as the country gears up for the Paralympic Games, which start on 29 August.

Miranda carried out a training session with the club and wrote about how wheelchair basketball differs from the able-bodied game.

In an article about the experience, Miranda said: “Trying out a sport for the first time can spark a mixture of emotions, from excitement to confusion. But working out how to use a wheelchair on top of taking in the rules of a new sport certainly created a challenge.

“I carried out my final Olympic Dream with Bolton Bulls Wheelchair Basketball Club, who train at Smithills Sports Centre.

“After many failed attempts at finding a sport I could excel in, I had a good feeling about basketball. Having tried out the sport at high school and played goal shooter for various netball teams over the years, I thought basketball would be my best shot.

“I had expected to try basketball while sitting in a wheelchair for only five minutes or so.

“But the team, which was formed 30 years, was eager to throw me in the deep end and take part in training like other players. Always eager for a challenge, I was happy to oblige.”

After managing to score three baskets, Miranda was invited back for further training, as league teams are allowed one able-bodied player.