It was a super weekend of wheelchair basketball action at the 2018 School Games, The annual four-day multi-sport event hosted at Loughborough University. The competition re-enforces the experience of Olympic and Paralympic Games complete with an Opening Ceremony, an Athletes Village, and an Athlete Education Programme.
Thames Valley Kings Wheelchair Basketball Club’s Liam Barker and PJ O’Donovan (Athletes), Grant Barker (Coach), Patrick O’Donovan (Assistant Coach) and Peter Rapley (Team manager) joined the England South squad in the six-team tournament featuring England super-regions and the home countries.
On Friday in the first pool game, England South went down 35-56 against Wales which was followed in Saturday’s final pool game against England North which saw a strong North team win 54-29. This was not enough for England South to progress to the Semi-Finals that were held later on the same day. The Semis saw England North overcoming Northern Ireland 59-36 and Scotland defeating Wales 48-46.
Sunday saw “placements day” begin with England South facing England Central who battled it out for 5th/6th with England South picking up 5th with a 41-37 win with Liam Barker picking up 8 points and 7 assists.
In the bronze medal game between Wales and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland picked up the Bronze with a 52-46 win. Before Scotland battled for Gold against England North in the final which ended 67-41 to England North.
Team Manager, Peter Rapley said “It’s a pleasure to be involved again at such a great multi-sports event. With a much younger, less experienced side this year we can be very proud of the way the team gelled and played on the court. it was gutting to miss out on a chance of a medal. This team will be built upon and will come back next year hungry”