Leah to line up for GB at Olympic Park

Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Leah Evans, Castleford, England - 010414 - Leah Evans.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/AMGP.co.uk - Leah Evans, Castleford, England - 010414 - Leah Evans.

Inspirational wheelchair basketball Leah Evans is preparing to represent her country at London’s Olympic Park this weekend.

Leah, 17, was born with a rare hip condition that restricted her growth and movement.

But since starting wheelchair basketball last year she has excelled at the sport, earning a call up to Team GB.

Now Leah will be part of the national team that takes on Netherlands at the Copper Box arena as part of National Paralympic Day on Saturday.

Leah said: “It’s all happened very quickly for me and it was a bit of a shock at first but I’m used to it now.

“It’s an honour to be called up to play for the GB team at the Olympic Park - I wasn’t expecting it at all.

“I’ve never played in front of that many people before either so I’m a bit nervous about it.”

Leah, who defied the odds after being told, aged four, she would never walk, was a passionate dancer who danced six times a week.

Then, in 2012, she had a fall and was taken back to hospital where she was told she would need a wheelchair.

Leah started wheelchair basketball last year and she already represents the north of England schools’ team, as well as turning out for Sheffield Steelers and team GB.

Leah, of Gyspy Lane, Townville, trains five nights a week and plays on a weekend.

She is also studying a BTEC in health and social care at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Sixth Form College in Featherstone and hopes to go on to Worcester University next year.

Leah has just returned from the European Under-25 Championships in Germany.

She added: “It was a great experience. It was the first time I’ve been away with the team.

“I think it’s very important to show how great wheelchair basketball is - it isn’t very well known at the minute.

“I’ll say to some people that I play wheelchair basketball and they won’t have heard of it.

“Hopefully the National Paralympic Day will encourage people to give it a go.”

The National Paralympic Day takes place at venues across the Olympic Park.

For more information or to buy tickets visit the website at www.axs.com/national-paralympic-day