Wheelchair sports program to be launched in Port Macquarie

THE opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Ryley Batt is something wheelchair athletes across the Hastings have had limited access to.

But Wheelchair Sports NSW regional coordinator Nathan Peasley is hopeful that will change and he wants to play his part in creating a new path to Olympic glory.

Peasley and Batt will be in attendance on Saturday between 10am and 11.30pm at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium.

Funding obtained as part of a ClubsNSW grant will ensure the program for wheelchair sports becomes an annual event.

“There used to be a wheelchair basketball sports program in Port Macquarie about 20 years ago and then it folded and went away, so I decided I wanted to try and get it going again,” Peasley said.

“I’ve been established with Wheelchair Sports NSW for a little while and felt there was a need for it in this area.”

Peasley said it gave people an opportunity to mix with similar-minded people for an hour and a half at the same location every week.

“After the 2000 Paralympics I ran a similar program for five years down in Sydney and it was rather successful,” he said.

“We want to create a pathway for kids and provide an opportunity to be involved with Ryley Batt when he’s in town.”

Anyone with varying levels of abilities are encouraged to attend the program which will incorporate training drills, games and an introduction to wheelchair basketball and rugby.

“Able-bods are welcome to see what it’s all about and are encouraged to get involved,” Peasley said.

“It’s an ongoing program; we had about 20-25 who used to participate years ago.”