Disability History Month: Wheelchair Basketball

Posted 20 November 2020
Chloe, a 2nd year PhD student talks about joining Wheelchair Basketball
Chloe, a 2nd year PhD student talks about joining Wheelchair Basketball

Hi, I’m Chloe, I’m a second year PhD student and I have a physical disability affecting all of my body. This September I joined the University’s Wheelchair basketball team and honestly it is the best thing I have done since coming to Hull in 2019.

I was amazed to find out that the university had a fully inclusive sport on offer! Both able-bodied people and people with disabilities play on the team. After my first session with the team I got a little emotional as it was the first time in almost 15 years that I had been able to play and get involved in a competitive team sport. I finally found something I could do and really enjoyed!

Physical exercise is really important to me especially when managing my mental health and it is hard to find a sport or exercise to do without causing more pain. Training twice a week with the team has really helped as (when we could pre lockdown) I can fit the sessions into my week rather than going I should really do some exercise and never actually doing it. It also gave me a structured break away from my studies helping to prevent a burn out. I would really suggest that students join a team or society to give them a small break from worrying about deadlines and to give them a group of people that are going through or have gone through the same things during their time at university so can offer advice and support.

The team are the most amazing group of people and I look forward to our Wednesday and Sunday training sessions every week. It is great to meet a bunch of people who have similar disabilities to you and understand the trials and tribulations of being disabled so it works as a little support group too. As a PhD student, I only really meet the few people I see in my office but joining the wheelchair basketball team has meant I have met a wide variety of people at all stages of their university journey from first years to masters students studying everything from physics to zoology.

There were lots of disability sports events planned for Disability History Month, however owing to lockdown they had to be cancelled, hopefully some of these activities can run at some point to showcase accessible sports and possibly give other teams ideas on how they can make their training accessible and open for all.