EXPERIENCED competitors and complete beginners looking for a new challenge have been invited to take part in wheelchair basketball sessions.

The fast-paced pastime is coming to White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre in Abingdon later this month.

Kieran Calvert, who already coaches a wheelchair basketball session in Oxford, helped to deliver a taster wheelchair session on August 19, alongside Shiv Mahalingham who coaches at South Oxfordshire Heat Basketball Club.

The free session gave 11 participants the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball for the first time.

Megan Horwood, community sports manager at the tennis and leisure centre in Audlett Drive, said: “The launch of wheelchair basketball sessions was a great success. Everyone who took part really enjoyed themselves.

"We had a mix of abilities covering wheelchair basketball club players and those coming to the sport for the first time.

"I’d really encourage all local residents who are looking for a fun, exhilarating hobby to come along and try it for themselves.

"It’s easy to pick up and a great way to exercise.

"The session is open to all and you do not have to be a wheelchair user."

The new sessions will take place every Friday evening from 6.45pm, starting on September 22.

The sessions will be fortnightly and will run throughout the year.

Leisure operator Better, Oxford Eagles Wheelchair Basketball and South Oxfordshire Heat Basketball Club have launched the joint initiative.

Mr Mahalingham said: “It’s so great to be involved in this project offering inclusive wheelchair basketball to the local Oxfordshire community.

"A few of our club players went along to the session and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Wheelchair basketball, developed in the wake of the Second World War as an activity for injured servicemen, is a Paralympic sport and was one of the original eight sports to feature the first Paralympic Games in 1960.

For more information contact Megan Horwood by emailing megan.horwood@gll.org or by calling 07806 199555.