SUFFOLK SPORTS AWARDS: Contribution to Disability Sports

EADT - News/sport Stuart Watson.
Jill Anderson who coaches wheelchair basketball in Bury St Edmun

EADT - News/sport Stuart Watson. Jill Anderson who coaches wheelchair basketball in Bury St Edmunds has been nominated for the BBC unsung hero of the year. pics by Alex Fairfull 11-12-08 MyPhotos24 ref - af 08 jill anderson 9

The annual Suffolk Sports Awards will take place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Friday night. Fourteen awards will be presented and this section looks at the Contribution to Disability Sport Award. Next Wednesday we’ll bring you the winners from the event in the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times.

Woodbridge RUFC

In March, Richard Wilding suggested the club try to form a wheelchair rugby squad to help those in the region who wished to participate.

The club organised three taster sessions held at Woodbridge School. They were so well attended that the club was determined to hold regular sessions and Rock Barracks came up trumps with it’s superb facilities.

The Wheeled Warriors, under the wings of Woodbridge Rugby club was born and boasts more than 15 members and a regular turn-out of nine wheelchair users every Sunday morning.

For a couple of hours, members of the squad get exercise, make friendships, escape from the restrictions of every day life and, above all else, have a great laugh.

Jill Anderson (Wheelchair basketball)

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Jill, pictured, is the chairman and head coach of the Bury Bombers Wheelchair Basketball Club.

Since the Paralympics, the club has grown by 30%, with club nights incorporating all abilities, with no disabled child or adult being turned away.

She works from grassroots to Division 1 with the ethos of courage, inspiration, determination and equality.

Jill was the founder and first chairman of the club back in 1997, with five disabled teenagers getting a taster of the sport for one hour per week.

The long-serving member has developed the club which now boasts two Great Britain team members and one player playing professionally in Germany. Jill has also taken the wheelchairs in to local schools encourage participation.

Lowestoft Lions (Cycling)

The Lions have developed a Bike Active project for adults with disabilities, allowing users to ride adapted bikes.

The Lions have also hosted disability swimming galas, giving those that aren’t able to compete at a higher level the chance to enjoy the experience and excitement of a structured competition.

Lowestoft Lions have been one of the driving forces behind the newly formed Waveney Sportsability, taking the group to a new level where hopefully disability sport will push further forward still.