WHILE the league has finished, training and practice hasn’t stopped for Warwickshire Bears, with junior and senior athletes having success at Invictus and West Midlands trials during the busy off-season.
Some of the Bears’ ex-service personnel athletes attended Invictus Trials held last week in Sheffield.
The end of the week saw both Joe Preston and Andy Roberts win silver medals in wheelchair basketball, while Rick Powell and Dan Gill finished with a bronze medal.
“I am so thrilled and proud of the Bears players who have been selected this year to take part in the Invictus games as well as the Bears Cubs who have been selected to represent West Midlands in the upcoming regional finals in Worcester,” said coach Tom Masterson.
“We are enormously proud of all of our ex-service personal at the club and to see four players from the Bears winning medals is fantastic.
“To top off a great week it was great to also see a number of Cubs picked for the West Midlands junior team.
“This all helps to reinforce the work we are doing at the club with our juniors and all the hard work they have put in this season.”
Last season, the Bears entered a team into the junior league for the first time in its history.
Despite not having much success in the games, the Cubs have made a huge leap in their abilities and the club is looking to re-enter a team this season.
“We started a new Saturday session last season, to try and make it easier for parents to bring the kids along, and it seems to be working,” added Masterson.
“We also took the decision to offer the sessions free of charge to also make it more appealing to parents as well.
“We are still a bit thin on numbers for the junior team, so again this year we are actively seeking to recruit more players to the juniors alongside our women’s team and National League teams.
“The great thing about this sport is that the women and men play together in the same teams in all the leagues, except the women’s league.
“In fact, with the rules of the league, it is in fact more beneficial to have more women and junior players in the squad.”
The Bears are looking to recruit disabled or injured players, both male and female, plus any able-bodied player who fancies trying a new sport.
The specialist wheelchairs are provided and the Saturday session will run all over the summer period at Warwickshire College Sport Centre in Henley-in-Arden.
“The opportunities for the Juniors and women players are tremendous in our sport,” said Masterson.
“The juniors today can get offered scholarships and help with universities if they get recognised internationally, plus players get financial help also if they get recognised internationally at all ages.”