Sport

Invictus UK Trials: Wheelchair Basketball Provides Moments To Remember

An exciting match kept spectators on the edge of their seat in Sheffield.

Experienced players and newbies teamed together to win medals in Wheelchair Basketball at the Invictus UK Trials.

In the final team sport event of the week, the Red Team took the gold medals after a 19-18 victory in the final.

The Blue Team pulled an impressive comeback during the final quarter, but a one-point deficit at full-time meant they were awarded only a silver medal.

Victoria Ross was a winner for the Red Team but suffered some hits out on the court. She was caught with a stray hand to the face as well as being jolted from her chair.

However, as the final buzzer went, she broke out in tears in a clear sign of what the win means to her.

She said: “It’s hard to put in words. It’s the first stepping stone on the journey of a long road.

“It means a lot because of all the training, going to all the camps and sports hubs. It’s paid off.

“It’s like being me again.

It’s given me a bit of a sense of a self-worth.”

The players displayed the Invictus spirit with a post-match show of unity.

In the crowds, Ross had her children watching which made it an even more special moment for her.

She said: “What more could you want?

“I have this arena with my family supporting me. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

During the medal ceremony, bronze medal winners received their awards from Ade Adepitan.

The Paralympian has worked hard to grow the sport of Wheelchair Rugby over the years and is pleased to see the game played on such an important stage.

He said: “These guys are incredible to go through what they have gone through and to come back and rebuild their lives.

“I know this is about a bit of fun and getting fitness back, but they want to win as well.

“That competitive edge is out there and they get to do it in this amazing arena in front of all these people.

“Nothing but respect. That’s what I have got. Pure respect for them all.”

Adepitan was also pleased to see a lively game between two teams who were not holding back.

“I like it. Don’t you like it when there is a bit of argy-bargy out there and people are throwing each other out of the chair? That’s what it is all about.

“People say wheelchair basketball is a non-contact sport. No. Get out there. Knock them on the floor and laugh. Afterwards, you shake hands, of course.”