Wheel­chair bas­ket­baller wins

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - AMELIA CHRIS­TENSEN-ROSE

A Ro­to­tuna Ju­nior High School stu­dent was part of the Waikato wheel­chair bas­ket­ball team which dom­i­nated at the Hal­berg Ju­nior Dis­abil­ity Games.

Team Waikato was awarded the na­tional ju­nior wheel­chair bas­ket­ball tro­phy for the third year in a row.

Yashan Rand­hawa, 14, said win­ning was ‘‘pretty re­ward­ing’’.

Rand­hawa was 11-years-old when he first played wheel­chair bas­ket­ball at the Hal­berg Games.

He also plays for the goldmedal-win­ning New Zealand Un­der 23 team.

Be­ing older and more ex­pe­ri­enced made Rand­hawa feel like he was able to of­fer some lead­er­ship on court.

Held on Oc­to­ber 6 to 8, the Hal­berg Games saw 146 ath­letes aged eight to 21 rep­re­sent­ing 12 re­gional teams.

Yashan’s favourite part about wheel­chair bas­ket­ball is that it is a fast game.

A mis­con­cep­tion peo­ple have about the sport is that it is slower than nor­mal bas­ket­ball, but it’s the other way around, he said.

‘‘It gets the adren­a­line go­ing,’’ he said.

Yashan was born with a be­nign tu­mour in his pelvis which af­fected the sci­atic nerve in his right leg.

Be­fore he had a be­low-knee am­pu­ta­tion ear­lier this year, he had no feel­ing in that part of his body.

Hosted by the Hal­berg Dis­abil­ity Sport Foun­da­tion, the games are open for phys­i­cally dis­abled and vis­ually im­paired young peo­ple.

The event gives ath­letes the op­por­tu­nity to try new sports, meet other peo­ple, com­pete at a na­tional level and pro­vides a path­way for par­tic­i­pants to pur­sue fur­ther sport­ing goals.

-Amelia Chris­tensen-Rose is a Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent.

Yashan Rand­hawa play­ing wheel­chair bas­ket­ball for Team Waikato.

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