Wheelchair basketball to celebrate NYW

On Friday the 15th April students from Mt Evelyn and Yarra Junction Yarra Valley Community School (YVCS) campuses participated in a Wheelchair Basketball workshop funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments for National Youth Week (NYW).

The workshop was supported and organised by Alice Hammond from Basketball Victoria. Alice arranged for Shelly Chaplin to run the workshop for both groups.

Students completed a tour of the 2 year old State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South prior to starting the workshop. The facility will have an additional 6 Courts in the years to come. One of the Courts can seat 1500 spectators.

Shelly introduced herself to the students and explained how she came to be in a wheelchair and to play basketball. Shelly stated

“I couldn’t make a goal the first time I tried, it took a few years to build up”. The athletes undertake a lot of shoulder work and regularly participate in rehabilitation programs to support their bodies”.

When asked what Shelly finds the most enlightening in running workshops she replied

“Seeing all the able bodied people get in the chairs and seeing it bring them all to the same level of ability”.

About Shelly

Shelley Chaplin (born 4 September 1984) is an Australian 3.5-point player wheelchair basketball player. She participated in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, where she won a silver medal; in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, where she won a bronze medal, and the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where she won a second silver medal.

Chaplin began playing wheelchair basketball in 1999, and made her debut in the BL championship Dandenong Ranges sides in 2011 and 2012. She was first selected for the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, in 2001, and first represented Australia in 2002, winning a bronze medal as part of the team at the 2002 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. She played for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wheelchair basketball team, and was named an All-American in the 2006/07 season. Her team won the national championships in 2009.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, here is what some of them had to say.

“Shelly was very inspirational” – Bec

“I am determined to get a Three today” – Todd

“It was good, it was hard” – Corey

“It was so hard” – Landon

“It was a great experience for both students and staff, thanks –  Mark Hunt VCAL Coordinator

About National Youth Week

NYW is an annual, week long celebration of young people (aged 12-25) throughout Australia. A time to celebrate and recognise the value of all young Australians to their communities. NYW is the largest celebration of young people on the Australian youth calendar.

It is a joint initiative of the Australian, State, Territory and Local Governments. It gives you an opportunity to express your ideas and views, and act on issues that affect your lives. It also lets you have a lot of fun.

YVCS received a grant as part of this program which funded our wheelchair basketball workshop.

We would like to thank all the people involved in making the day a success, this includes Shelley Chaplin, The State Basketball Centre, Alice Hammond (Basketball Victoria) and the Victorian Government for their support and help in organising this event.