Causeway Coast and Glens Mayor finishes his term with visit to wheelchair basketball club he met on his first day

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In one of the last appointments of his term, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and GlensCouncil, paid a visit to the wheelchair basketball club he met on his first day as Mayor.

Cllr Steven Callaghan visited the Causeway Giants Wheelchair Basketball Club at the invitation of Enterprise Causeway – one of whose members is Helen Logan who plays with the club.

The Giants club is made up of 26 members, coming from Larne to Portrush. They come together every Wednesday and Saturday (including Juniors, aged 8+) at Ulster University Coleraine’s fully accessible sports complex, to train, catch-up, share skills and life worries.

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Many of the club members have faced significant challenges in their lives, finding the sport, and each other, through the encouragement of others.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Steven Callaghan, with members of the Causeway Giants Wheelchair Basketball club and Enterprise Causeway's Cathy McGarry. Credit Enterprise CausewayCauseway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Steven Callaghan, with members of the Causeway Giants Wheelchair Basketball club and Enterprise Causeway's Cathy McGarry. Credit Enterprise Causeway
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Steven Callaghan, with members of the Causeway Giants Wheelchair Basketball club and Enterprise Causeway's Cathy McGarry. Credit Enterprise Causeway

Helen Logan said: “This club quite literally saved my mental health. I have Spina bifida, but was still on my feet until COVID hit. COVID closed swimming pools, and in turn, stopped my physical exercise. Not having the water to aid my body, I found myself using a stick, which then lead to using crutches, and then, painfully, accepting that a wheelchair was the only aid.

"The chair was undoubtedly my life changer, helping me live again, but it was not an easy transition. In fact, it was something I, and my family, struggled massively to accept as the new way of life, particularly within a global pandemic.

“A close friend kept messaging to come along to one of the sessions. It took me three months to pluck up the courage to do so. Making my way onto a basketball court for the first time was something I couldn’t have imagined, but at no point have I looked back!

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"I’ve found MY PEOPLE and learned to exercise and play a fantastic sport, on a weekly basis. Being part of a community of people, with a mixture of abilities, really gave me that push to keep going, and it has well and truly changed my life, and my husband’s and my daughter’s who comes with me to training sessions and is very much part of the club.

"I’m Club Secretary, kit washer lady and general ‘Mummy of the team’. They mean the world to me and, together, we saved one another.”

Cllr Callaghan said: “On my first day as Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, I had the pleasure of meeting ladies from the Causeway Giant’s

Wheelchair Basketball club. The members were an inspiration to me, and I have since had the honour of inviting the whole club to a civic reception at Council headquarters.

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“Helen herself is such a dedicated advocate for sport, particularly wheelchair basketball and how it can improve mental health. It is my honour to visit the club again during my last few weeks as Mayor. They are a club that is close my heart and will remain so into the future.”

Anyone interested in joining the adult Causeway Giants Wheelchair Basketball Club, or anyone who is the parent/guardian of someone aged 8 years and above, who would be interested in joining the youth section, can get in touch via the team’s Facebook page.

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