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November 30, 2022

County kicks off summer wheelchair basketball program

WATSONVILLE—Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency’s Public Health Division is inviting all wheelchair users, youth with disabilities, along with their families and friends to participate in the Wheelin’ BBall Community Kick-off this weekend. 

The free event will be held Saturday from noon to 2pm at Franich Park in Watsonville, and include a wheelchair basketball demonstration and clinic, with an appearance by the Santa Cruz Warriors’ mascot Mav’Rick as well as a barbecue.

Beginners are encouraged to participate and learn the basics of the sport. Event leaders will include Paralympians, wheelchair basketball coaches and players. 

Manual wheelchairs are recommended for the event.

The kick-off will be followed by a five-day wheelchair basketball camp starting the week of June 13 from 5-7pm, coached by former Paralympian Nathan Perkins. The limited-space camp, created by Brenda Gutierrez of County Park Friends, is also free.

In a recent press release organizers said that the camp “addresses the need for outdoor recreation and community connection for people of all abilities.” 

The plan, they said, is to build on these events to establish a Monterey Bay youth wheelchair basketball team.

“We are so pleased to hold this event, which is the first of its kind focused on sports for youth with disabilities in the Monterey Bay Area,” said Denise Sanford, California Children’s Services Supervising Therapist of the Health Services Agency’s Public Health Division. “The event would not have been possible without the collaboration and sponsorship of County Park Friends, California Children’s Services in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, and Shared Adventures, our local non-profit that organizes recreational and social events for people with disabilities.”

Registration to Saturday’s kickoff event is appreciated but not required. Click here to register.

Franich Park is located at 795 Vista Montana Drive in Watsonville. For information, call County Parks Friends at 831-200-9403.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.


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