#MotabilityWeek at Birchwood – Sussex Wheelchair Basketball – 5 days of blogs

Over the next 5 days we are showcasing our Motability deals and offers, and each day a look in detail at sponsorship we have with the Sussex Wheelchair Basketball team(s), pathways, community development, social prescribing, academy and ambassador programs…

Motability Week: Day 1 - Our Partnership With Sussex Wheelchair Basketball

Ricky Perrin - shirt number 34

“After my spinal injury 15 years ago my first ever Motability car was a Ford Focus Titanium and a few weeks ago I ordered my latest Motability car! and yes it is a Ford Focus from Birchwood… The Focus has a good seat to floor height for transferring from a wheelchair, once I transfer in I can lean out and fold up my wheelchair and bring it in through the driver's door over my lap and onto the rear seat. They are great cars to drive, I live in a city so they are nippy about town, easy to park and have all the features and gadgets that I like. After my spinal cord injury, I had no idea how I would drive a car with 60% of my body paralysed but Motability made it easy as they sorted all the adaptions like the push/pull brake/acc system, with an indicator fitted on the lever, a steering ball and I had pedal guards fitted on that first-ever Focus, these days I only have the very basic push and pull system as after years of driving adapted cars I have learned that I need less to be independent. Just because I can not stand up or walk ever again it does not mean I need huge ramps and hoists… as I get older I may need these systems and when I do I know Motability and Birchwood will help me with all my needs. Back in those early days, I was still recovering physically and mentally from my injury, but having that first Ford Focus is the reason I started to go out again, returning to education, college and started playing wheelchair basketball for a local team.“

Birchwood met Ricky in 2019 when he was searching for a sponsor for “Sussex Wheelchair Basketball”… at the time they were a new team with the aim of using wheelchair basketball to help people as a social enterprise. The team is currently sat at the top of the league table in division 2 South National British Wheelchair Basketball BWB and they are hoping to gain promotion this season into Division 1.

You do not need to be a wheelchair user to play wheelchair basketball, we have amputees, CP, MS, Spinal injuries as it is a team sport with a classification system so if you know anyone who might want to have a go then the brand social media accounts for the 2022/2023 season are now live, we do training in Eastbourne, Brighton and Lancing… and a few other places throughout Sussex so please contact us to find out more.

We have lots of spare sports wheelchairs to get new players started in the sport, and we have teams playing in other divisions so we have a development pathway, academy system and a new ambassador program that you will read more about in the week.

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