Warwickshire Bears launch sting operation at the Ricoh

Wasps' Carlos Fustuccia has a go at wheelchair basketball. Pictures submitted
Wasps' Carlos Fustuccia has a go at wheelchair basketball. Pictures submitted

Warwickshire Bears took their message out to the community on Saturday when they appeared at the Wasps fan village as part of the pre-match entertainment at the Ricoh Arena.

Bears were invited to showcase wheelchair basketball and also highlight Wasps’ ongoing attempts to bridge links with local clubs.

There was a mini basketball court set up with spare basketball wheelchairs provided by the British Wheelchair Basketball Association for anyone interested in having a go themselves.

Bears provided coaching and encouragement and were successful in getting a number of children and parents to get in the wheelchairs provided and join in with the fun.

At one point they even managed to persuade Wasps’ Italian hooker Carlo Fustuccia to have a go himself.

The Bears were then treated to free tickets to see Wasps take on Newcastle Falcons.

Bears coach Tom Masterson was delighted to get the opportunity to showcase wheelchair basketball to a wider audience.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Wasps Rugby Club and their Community Development manager Verity Brown for inviting the Bears,” said Masterson.

“It was a great event and opportunity for the Bears to appear before a bigger audience and to showcase wheelchair basketball to a wider audience.

“It gave us the chance to try get the message out that you don’t need to be a wheelchair user to play.

“Having an injury that prevents you playing able-bodied team sports such as rugby may make you eligible to be classified to play wheelchair basketball, even anyone who is able bodied can play.

Verity Brown, Wasps community development manager, said: “It was great to have the Bears attend our Big Community Day Out.

“Lots of Wasps fans and our very own Carlo Festuccia got to experience what wheelchair basketball was all about.”

Bears are back in league action on Sunday when they play host to Maidstone Warriors and Bears 2 take on Cardiff Celts 2 at Warwickshire College, Henley-in-Arden, from 11am.

The Bears are still looking for a sponsor for the team and also always looking to recruit new members ,especially female and junior players.

If you are interested, email info@bearswbc.com or call 07946 518354.