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Cardiff Met Launches Wheelchair Basketball



Cardiff Metropolitan University has become one of the first universities in Wales to compete in the British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB) University Championships.

Joanna Coates-McGrath, Club Development Co-ordinator and Disability Sports Development Co-ordinator for Sport Cardiff, and students Matt Sherman from the School of Sport (CSS) and Martin Lane from the School of Art & Design (CSAD), have set up weekly wheelchair basketball sessions at the National Indoor Athletic Centre (NIAC) on the University's Cyncoed campus.

Sessions have been available to both disabled and non-disabled students with fifteen students attending across two months. Because of the enthusiasm of students at the weekly sessions the University's first ever team was entered into the BWB University Championships.

The Archers Basketball Club provided equipment and kit for the championships and local Cardiff and Caerphilly wheelchair basketball club, CELTS, also provided coaches to help the team reach the quarter finals. They went on to finish in 7th place out of 16 teams.

Joanna Coates-McGrath said: "Setting up the project has been a great experience and the support we have received has been phenomenal. Our aim now is to repeat the project in the next academic year, with a view to it hopefully becoming a Cardiff Met Athletic Union sport."

Matt Sherman said: "I initially became involved with the project as part of my work placement and helped with various bits such as promotion and venue set up. As I got further into the project I started to understand and like it more and wanted to become more involved.

"I am now the new Higher Education Wheelchair Basketball Officer for Cardiff Met and I hope I can help take the sport further and get more students involved."

British Wheelchair Basketball is a registered charity and the governing body for wheelchair basketball in the UK. The BWB University Championships started in 2014 with just five teams initially competing. The championship continues to grow and now runs over two days with 16 teams from across the UK competing.

Dan Bufton, Welsh Development Officer for British Wheelchair Basketball, said: "The British Wheelchair Basketball University programme is developing year on year and it's fantastic to see Welsh involvement for the first time.

"There has been great partnership working between Sport Cardiff, Disability Sport Wales, Cardiff Met, Archers Basketball and Cardiff Celts Wheelchair Basketball club to support the development of the sport at the University and I congratulate everyone involved on a brilliant first few months, culminating in a very credible performance at the Championships.  I look forward to seeing the project develop."

Sport Cardiff, is a Joint Venture Agreement between Cardiff Metropolitan University, and City of Cardiff Council. Sport Cardiff's mission is to enrich the lives of the people of Cardiff by delivering a range of quality sporting opportunities.

The agreement has been backed by Sport Wales and provides timely boost to the resources available to develop sport in the Welsh capital.