Amawheelaboy takes first steps
Shane Williams, a 22-year-old national wheelchair basketball star, has been given the opportunity to walk for the first time.
The Mitchells Plain-born Williams had both his legs amputated due to a severe case of meningitis when he was one year old.
Getting prosthetic legs for the athlete was not an easy task due to the severe nature of his amputation, which was done above the knees. However, his dream of gaining more mobility was realised thanks to sponsors Sasol and Jumping Kids, who together paid for his legs.
Expressing how his disability made him feel, Williams said: “Growing up without legs was normal for me because they were removed so early in my life and it was the only way I knew of living – so I wasn’t sad.”
Williams’ wheelchair basketball journey started in 2006 when a few of his friends at school asked him to join them – and it was only then that he realised he wanted to take up the sport professionally.
The athlete could not hold back his excitement when he expressed how thrilled he was to walk for the first time in his life.
“It’s amazing because it makes things so much easier to reach and I can go to places I previously couldn’t with a wheelchair. I’m truly grateful,” he said.
Williams wants to eventually play wheelchair basketball professionally in Europe and compete with world-class players.
The athlete said he wanted kids with the same condition to never lose hope in their dreams and added that the sky was the limit.
“Kids with disabilities need to understand that anything is possible and they can achieve more than able-bodied people if they put their minds to it,” he said.
The wheelchair basketball player’s short-term plan is getting back into the 12-man Amawheelaboys national squad, and he says he will be putting in the extra hours of training to impress the coach and prove that he belongs in the team.
EXCITED Shane Williams’ mum sees him walking for the first time on his new prosthetic legs