First junior wheelchair basketball club for the south west

A PORTISHEAD athlete has set up the first junior wheelchair basketball team in the South West.

Jennifer Howitt Browning, who works for the Motivation charity in Backwell, had been coaching an elite adult team in Bristol when she realised two children had joined as there were no junior clubs in the region.

Jennifer, who won a gold medal in wheelchair basketball for America at the Paralympics in Athens in 2004, has now set up a junior team, the South West Scorpions, which plays in Bristol. Youngsters from Portishead and Weston are among the athletes.

She said: “Two children were coming along to the adult sessions because the nearest junior clubs were in Birmingham or London.

“I decided to set one up in Bristol and we now have 20 youngsters, some coming from as far as Bath and Devon to attend.

“We are trying to encourage more people to join.”

The team was set up last year and in its first season it came fourth in the national league.

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A team of players has now been selected to represent the region in the national junior championships from October 21-23.

The South West Scorpions train at Filton College on Sundays and is open to children, with or without disabilities, and there are sports chairs available to use.

The team is sponsored by Motivation - a charity which aims to enhance the lives of people with mobility disabilities around the world.

Jennifer added: “A lot of children feel very self conscious and hide their disabilities rather than realise it’s something that makes them different, which can be a really good thing.

“We see a real transformation in the children, it gives them such confidence and helps them to feel more comfortable with their disabilities.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the club can visit the Scorpions’ website on

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