DG Writer, Katy McIntosh speaks to the wheelchair basketball team, the Essex Outlaws about training, sponsors, and how to join the group.
The Paralympics brought wheelchair basketball into the public eye as one of the most exciting sports around. After having the opportunity to be a spectator at some of the games, it got me thinking… How do you get involved in this kind of thing? So I spoke to Alan Mansell, co-founder of the Essex Outlaws.
The Essex Outlaws are a National League wheelchair basketball club formed in 1999.
The team have had great success, going from 3rd division to 2nd, then 1st and even playing at the highest level in the Super League.
Mr. Mansell said: “We currently have one league team in the first division and a development group training hard with the hope that we can enter a second team into the league.
“We are a competitive team and we are looking for players young and old to come join in the fun, but I will stress that we are training players with the hope they will play in the national leagues even if it’s the 3rd division only to start.”
Players as young as 13 can train as long as they have the strength to keep up with the older players, and both men and women are welcome. Athletes do not have to be full-time wheelchair users, but they have to use one to play and train. Even a slight impediment which means you cannot play the running game could make you eligible to join the team and even make the ParalympicsGB squad.
The Essex Outlaws play at the Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre in Chelmsford. The club is a great place to play ball, exercise, have fun and make friends. The team are actively seeking a new club sponsor as the old sponsor, Dukes Nightclub, has now closed. They are in desperate need of funding for new kits.