A new wheelchair basketball team called the Windsor Monarchs has launched successfully in Berkshire’s royal town.
Backed by local businesses, volunteers and with the support of the area’s primary sports centre, the team of ten are off to a great start with their first game of the season – a 41-30 win against the Folkstone Arrows – successfully completed.
Home to the Monarchs is the Windsor Leisure Centre, run by Legacy Leisure and managed by Andrew Kennedy who sourced funding for eight sports wheelchairs for the team to use.
He comments: “Our company is focused on supporting disability sport and getting more disabled people active. We’re therefore really pleased that the Monarchs are based here and can make use of the wheelchairs we provide. I think they’re a fantastic team and I wish them all the best.”
News of this brand new wheelchair basketball team has spread far and wide. Players from Berkshire, London, Essex, Surrey and Kent have joined the Monarchs’ regal ranks – a testament to the great set-up, spirit and support the team have created in such a short space of time.
Heading up the coaching team is Pete Smorthit, a Level 2 coach and player who is looking forward to achieving great things with the Monarchs.
“When I heard a new team was starting up and looking for a coach I had to jump on board. They all have a lot of potential just waiting to be unleashed and I feel I’m the person who can do that.
“The goal for this season is to win games first and foremost by working with the team on pick and rolls, curls, crossing the court, communication in general, fitness and we will achieve that.”
The idea for a new wheelchair basketball team came from local sports enthusiast Ben Harris, a wheelchair basketball player who saw a gap in the area for a new style of team.
As he prepares the Monarchs to rule the courts within Division 3 of the British Wheelchair Basketball League he says:
“Wheelchair basketball is a passion of mine and I’m proud to be the manager of this new team. I personally needed to move forward in the national leagues so had this crazy thought of setting up a brand new team.
“With some great support and hard work we launched successfully and start playing competitively mid-September as The Windsor Monarchs Wheelchair.
“It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in such a short space of time and we are on track to achieve great things. It helps that already – despite being a new team – we have become a great bunch of friends.
“We couldn’t have launched as successfully without the support of Legacy Leisure. We are extremely grateful to have the support of and base at Windsor Leisure Centre. Andrew Kennedy’s a great guy.”
The Windsor Monarchs have quickly gained the attention of supporters and sponsors, with the offer of free coaching from Basketball England plus sponsorship from Max Wheelchairs, DT Mobile Services and Matt Beattie Training.
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