This latest movie highlights the importance of wheelchair sports and this is the very first film about how just taking part in grass-roots disability sports saves lives, saves money, and creates an equal playing field.
The Sussex Bears movie may only be a few minutes long but it follows the stories of 3 players inside the Sussex Bears Wheelchair Basketball team.
East Brighton resident Ricky moved to the area a few years ago and saw a vast difference in the opportunities given to those living with a disability compared to London where he lived for a couple of years before.
In London and in other areas of the UK people with disabilities can access sports almost every day of the week so they improve their core fitness, improve the quality of life by retaining independence for longer…
Ricky began a little wheelchair basketball session in East Brighton that was open to all players regardless of a team they played for, this led to Ricky and some teammates launching the Sussex Bears Wheelchair Basketball team.
Sussex Bears – New development league sponsorship
Another great day for wheelchair basketball in Sussex today as Sussex Bears Team Manager Ricky Perrin and new player Andy Hooper visited the One Stop Store in Hove for a quick photo with sales manager Jayne, One Stop have sponsored the development team this season and for the Sussex Bears Team this means some sponsored kit, new balls and some funding to cover this seasons home match expenses like league referees.
“It may only look like a few vests! but to a brand new player it means they can start playing league matches without the upfront cost of buying your own kit” said Andy Hooper – Andy has never played in a league match before and he will make his on court debut on April 6th when the development team season starts in Lancing.
The Sussex Bears launched a wheelchair team last season winning the 3rd division South East and gained promotion to the 2nd division south… however during this season they have doubled the number of players and can enter a second team in the 4th division known as the development league.
Ricky Perrin – Team Manger followed up by saying “Several brand new players like Andy will get a brand new set of vests when the development league starts in April at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, plus it is fantastic to see some sponsorship and promotion going to the grass roots of the sport… it was great to pop down here today and we even managed to get Jayne from One Stop to have a go in a sports wheelchair”
A huge box of kit including new basketballs we all be ready for the league matches on April 6th and new playing vests will go to future players that come and join the team over the next season or 2, that will make a huge impact to growth of the team.
Coach Craig Wilson says “At the Sussex Bears we want to build a big wheelchair basketball team playing across all the UK leagues and Divisions, this season we entered teams in to the 2nd and 3rd division but at the last minute we found we were just 1 player short of the 3rd division entry requirements, so the development league takes on a greater importance as we have had many teammates and new players that have not had the league court time they deserve for all the hard work at training they have put in, next season being able to provide some kit and sponsorship that will help us pull in a few extra players so everyone will get more court time as we will enter more league teams!”
Coach Pete Bull added “The BWB (British Wheelchair Basketball) have a dedicated junior league and at Sussex Bears we want to find BRAND NEW junior players, ready to learn and hungry to be successful not only in our club but to start a career in wheelchair or Para sports, I think we have amazing facilities and some very experienced players with huge quantities of knowledge to pass on to the next generation of athletes… if we can get a message out to schools, universities and to the those newly injured it would say – come to Sussex Bears and let us help you fulfil your potential, You do not need to be a full time wheelchair user to play wheelchair basketball as the sport and league is fully inclusive”
Playing wheelchair basketball can have life changing effects to those that play it, the physical and mental health benefits are incredible and we are linking ourselves up with our local universities, our hospitals and schools to bring this sport to many people as we can… we have both long and short term goals in place and every single penny we get in either from sponsorship or from funding is spent developing this new dedicated pathway.
The next 18 months we will continue to build the team and develop the players that join us, being competitive on the court is vital as that drives the passion in the players to be faster, fitter and to learn more skills and be part of a team with shared vision and goals… if you know a business looking to sponsor us for next season we have various sponsorship opportunities.
Development league starts in lancing at 11am on Saturday April 6th at the sir Robert Woodard academy when 3 matches are played back to back, we would like to invite you all along to witness the action.
SUSSEX BEARS WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL & UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON
Parklife is a project run by Sport Brighton. Sport Brighton is the University of Brighton’s Sport and Recreation Service which offers a range of services from facilities to sports activities….
Parklife is supported by Brighton Students’ Union. Ultimately they hope to get more people involved in sport and physical activity across the University.
Starting this Tuesday at Falmer, Park life Wheelchair basketball taster sessions will run from 6pm till 7pm then from 7pm till 8pm will be a club session for the Sussex Bears Wheelchair basketball team in a collaborative deal that benefits the university and the league wheelchair basketball team.
Ricky Perrin Wheelchair team manager for Sussex Bears said…
“This deal is a WIN WIN for everyone… the students who take part in the taster session we be getting a taster session along side players or coaches in the Sussex Bears teams and it in return the Sussex Bears get extra training at this amazing facility here at Falmer at a fantastic rate that a newly formed community team can afford”
“After a very long time of talking and planning it is fantastic to get dates in the diary and start promoting the return of high level league wheelchair basketball back to the city that was once a huge player in this sport.”
Ricky is down at the Brighton university’s Cockcroft building today talking to students and promoting the start of these sessions that we hope will eventually see more people entering the sport at grass roots level.
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After only a year since the Sussex Bears Wheelchair basketball team launched they have already won a national league title, gained a promotion to a higher league, set up teams in 2 divisions including a dedicated development league… they are now working with other disability sports to unite in a bid to see a change in the way authorities, councils and the national health service see disabled sports.
Local Wheelchair and disability sports get no mainstream funding at government level here in the UK despite the facts to show those playing sports at a grass root level with a disability are far less likely to use core NHS and council services across the entire range of services, if you play disability sports you are less likely to have carers and far less likely to be socially isolated.
Here’s what ITV news said about the program…
A new program to help people who’ve been injured or newly diagnosed with a chronic illness to get into disabled sports has launched in Sussex – easing pressure on the NHS and local councils. Charlotte Wilkins explains.
please click below to view the news story.
Last updated Sat 3 Nov 2018
After 6 months of meeting with the NHS we ran this disability sports day in Brighton… a collaborative day with Sussex Bears, Brighton Buccaneers and Albion in the Community the charity for Brighton and Hove football club.
Here’s what ITV had to say about the day…
A man from Sussex who says that playing sport has helped him to stay fit and active is encouraging other people with disabilities to take up sport.
Ricky Perrin helped to organise a unique showcase at the University of Brighton campus at Falmer. The event was a joint initiative for the Sussex Bears wheelchair basketball team, and the Brighton and Hove Albion FC charity ‘Albion in the Community’. The Brighton Buccaneers were also there to show wheelchair sports in action.
Mr Perrin says that more than a quarter of a million people in Sussex are living with a disability in the county, but only one in six of them takes part in a sport. He’s calling for more opportunities for people with disabilities to do sport, saying that the potential benefits are not just physical and social – giving people a better quality of life and more independence; but also financial – potentially saving the country thousands of pounds which would otherwise be spent on care and medical costs.
Andy Dickenson spoke to Ricky Perrin, a player for the Sussex Bears; Sam Kennedy who plays for the Brighton Buccaneers; and Bob Aldridge who coaches the Brighton Buccaneers.