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Posted On: 30th Jan 2017

Disability Sports on TV

Simeon Wakely is campaigning for more disability sports to be shown on mainstream television
Simeon coaches a wheelchair basketball team
Paralympian Sophie Kamlish supports Simeon's campaign

'I love wheelchair basketball because it’s inclusive. There’s even a wheelchair basketball league in which able-bodied and disabled people play together - it proves that whatever ability you have, you can play sports.'

 

Simeon Wakely talks about his love for a sport that has boosted his confidence and helped him to meet like-minded people. 

 

The 19-year-old, from Timsbury, Somerset, is being supported by Fixers to get more disability sports shown on television, and the charity has arranged for him to speak to ITV about his project.

 

His story was broadcast on ITV News West on February 7 and he also created a poster.

 

Simeon, who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus and scoliosis, was born with part of his spine missing. He is paralysed from the waist down, and uses a wheelchair to get around.

 

He says: 'I think that if more disabled sports are shown on television it will educate the general public and show that despite having a disability, we can still do stuff that we want to do.

 

'It would also create more opportunities for people to participate in sport.

 

'As someone who has been playing wheelchair basketball for the last eight years, I know that being in a team, being around people who understand what you are going through, is very important.'

 

 

 

His friend James Ireland is helping with the project.

 

He says: 'If a TV executive said there wasn’t a big enough audience I would say – look at the figures for the London Paralympics.

 

'We’ve had the most well-attended Paralympics to date. If people are going to attend it, surely they’ll watch it on TV as well.' 

 

The pair have got the backing of Paralympian Sophie Kamlish, who competed in the Rio Paralympics.

 

She says: 'It’s very important that people who are disabled see themselves represented on TV, especially in sports showing we are strong and we can do pretty much anything a non-disabled person can do.' 

 

To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.

 

Author: Paul Larsmon

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