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Sunday, 1 February 2015
Wheelchair Basketball Tournament celebrates 25th year
A Brantwood Community Services team vies with the United Way Young Doctors in the 25th anniversary Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Branlyn Community Centre on Saturday.
Organizers know they've come a long way building an annual wheelchair basketball fundraising tournament when they celebrate a 25th anniversary and attract a team of differently abled players called the Twin City Spinners out of Kitchener.
Players who carried the tournament year after year in now vintage wheelchairs couldn't help but marvel at the state-of-the-art vehicles that allowed the Spinners, who play in Wheelchair Basketball Canada, to roll down the gymnasium floor in the Branlyn Community Centre on Saturday.
“The chairs that we've been using have served us well for these tournaments, but they look really old when you see what the Spinners use,” said Doug Hunt, director of fundraising, marketing and volunteers services with Participation House Brantford.
Bruce Mackenzie, fundraising development co-ordinator with Brantford Community Services, was impressed that the Spinners would play in a tournament in which most of the players in the other 13 teams in contention this year are mostly all able-bodied, playing to help raise money.
“It's amazing at how big this has gotten. It was really great that they came here,” Mackenzie exclaimed.
“I'm blown away by the quality of the players and the community support this tournament has gained.”
The Spinners also helped the organizers post another net gain in teams competing. Last year, 13 teams answered the call, and this year there were 14 – the highest the tournament has seen.
The North Brantford Lions and Canadian Pioneers played hosts for the tournament mounted by Brantwood Community Services and Participation House.
Hunt and Mackenzie said they fully expected the tournament to reach the fundraising goal of $10,000.
The Spinners won the tournament, while Ramkey Communications finished second.
The Brant Mutual Insurance team, winners in 2013 and 2014, were consolation round winners this time, while Another Round employees were consolation runner-ups.