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Saanich teams score national team visit
Alyshia Joinson, 17, and Ashley Griffith, 14, are stars on wheels. The two play out of Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence and were part of the Zone 6 wheelchair basketball team at the 2014 B.C. Winter Games. Now, they’ll have a chance to see the sport played at a high level and meet Paralympians.
The two Saanich teens won the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society’s Future Stars competition. The competition sought young women with the passion and potential to become part of the next generation of wheelchair basketball stars.
“Both Alyshia and Ashley have so much potential in the sport,” said their coach, Simon Cass. “It’s great to see how quickly they’re improving the sport and I know they’ll learn a lot from this experience.”
Griffith suffered multiple severe injuries in a fall in 2011. The Reynolds secondary student endured two major spinal surgeries and discovered wheelchair basketball at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver. Joinson, a Spectrum Community School Grade 11 student, started playing last October after her spina bifida and a foot injury nearly two years ago claimed her ability to walk.
As part of the prize, the two get a chance to attend the 2014 Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships and meet members of the Canadian national team.
“One of our goals for hosting the 2014 Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships was to inspire the next generation of female wheelchair basketball players in B.C.,” said Sian Blyth, BCWBS interim managing director. The 2014 Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships will take place April 25-27 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.