NHS Supply Chain Get Involved

NHS Supply Chain’s Customer Partnership team recently had the opportunity to spend a day supporting Derby Wheelblazers, a local wheelchair basketball team based in Derbyshire. The team play in the 3rd Division of the British Wheelchair Basketball League and after a hard fought season their chairs and equipment needed to be checked, repaired and labelled to ensure that they are ready for the players and people learning to play wheelchair basketball.

The Wheelblazers realised that wheelchair basketball is as much a tool for education and experience as it is for fun. The Wheelblazers run a variety of successful and popular community outreach sessions in schools and businesses which educate on the issues of disability, equality and provide a new and novel experience.

Using the best of NHS Supply Chains logistics skills 30 chairs were dismantled and matched with the correct tyres, areas of maintenance identified and 60 new wheels were inflated so that the wheelchairs were in pristine condition ready for the next season.

Once the hard work had been done, NHS Supply Chain’s Customer Partnership team prepared for their next challenge, Martin, Ricky and Dave from the Wheelblazers demonstrated the basics; how to get going in the chairs, how to dribble the ball, pick it up (when it inevitably got away from us)! and shoot baskets. It all sounds very straight forward but becomes very difficult when attempting to complete the manoeuvers in a wheelchair.

It was then time to split into teams and see how it’s done properly. A tentative start from us all quickly turned into lessons in tactics and teamwork with everyone getting into what we all found to be a really addictive sport. The final result was unimportant as the whole team had a great time, learned new skills and had the opportunity to support a brilliant wheelchair basketball club.

Martin Austin, from the Wheelblazers said, “As a group that’s run entirely by volunteers we appreciate all the help we can get. This was a big task that was certainly a case of many hands make light work and we couldn’t thank you guys enough. The game at the end was great fun and I think we had a couple of new fans of the sport at the end of it”

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