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‘Slam dunk’ for Tameside College students as Paralympians head to college

Two Paralympic athletes visited Tameside College recently to give students an insight into the world of wheelchair basketball.

Kayla Bell and Siobhan Fitzpatrick, both professional athletes who play with the team GB squad, visited the college to deliver a talk and practical session with sports students.

The students were given a chance to experience wheelchair basketball first hand, playing alongside the athletes in Tameside College’s sports academy.

Kayla and Siobhan also talked about their experiences growing up with disabilities, how they started in the sport, their fitness regime and hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Both Kayla and Siobhan have participated in the European, as well as the World wheelchair basketball championships.

Siobhan, said: “In Paralympics, most players don’t just fall naturally into each sport, I was just a very sporty person and felt like I needed to do something regardless of my disability, whether that be basketball or something else. Myself and Kayla both really enjoy passing on our experience of the sport and spreading awareness and that’s why we visited the college.”

The visit forms a part of the ‘athlete inspire’ programme which gives students the chance to work with sporting professionals as part of their course.

Luke Podmore, sports development lead at Tameside College, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the students out of their comfort zone, learning something new and gaining an appreciation of what some athletes have to go through to get to where they are today. Hopefully the students will go away today thinking that they can achieve their goals no matter what stands in their way.”

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