Sidney’s Desiree Young. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Sidney’s Desiree Young at her first BC Winter Games

Wheelchair basketball player has been on the court for about a year

Desiree Young has been playing wheelchair basketball for around one year and says her coach thought it was time for her to play at the BC Winter Games.

The Sidney athlete is in Kamloops for the Games this week (Feb. 22 to 25), representing the zone that covers Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Young will play on a team that will face a variety of other teams from around the province.

Young, 16, said Victoria Wheelchair Sports visited her school (Parkland Secondary in North Saanich).

‘I tried it out and I just got hooked,” said the Grade 11 student. “It’s a lot of fun and were very competitive. I also like the community and my teammates.”

She plays defence, and positions her chair to try to stop players on opposing team from reaching the basket.

Young said she uses a sports chair, made specially for basketball. The wheels are angled to give it a wider base. “More stable, easier to turn, easier to control.”

She said this year, her coach decided she was ready to go to the Games.

“I’m super excited.”

Young plays and practices a couple times a week and cross-trains with her wheelchair rugby team as well.

“I love it too. Lots of crashing into people. It’s really competitive as well, but the guys are great.”

Young spent a recent weekend at Spectrum Community School in Saanich at the Breakers women’s wheelchair basketball tournament, where she took part in development sessions with coaches from Victoria Wheelchair Sports.

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