Jamie reveals his hoop dream
- Credit: Archant
“By doing this it has made me realise there is more out there for me. It is good to be doing this and I am proud of myself,” said Jamie Dawson, 13, who has just been selected to represent London in a national wheelchair basketball competition.
Jamie, who was born with no lower legs, learned to walk on his “stumps” when he was younger, and uses a wheelchair.
He said he has always been active, favouring playing football with his brothers, but when he was encouraged to join the Frenford Falcons basketball team in Redbridge there was no looking back. And his talent shone through as within two weeks he was selected to join the London team in the The Lord’s Taverners Junior Championships, at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium, in Buckinghamshire.
He said: “I enjoy playing with the team and I am excited as well as nervous about representing London.
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“I enjoy playing because everyone is kind and fun and everyone is the same when they get into the wheelchairs. It is easy in the wheelchair but it can be hard work and I become tired, but I enjoy it, so it’s worth it and it has made me stronger.”
He added: “I am looking forward to the competition, it will be good for me and I get a chance to see how much hard work it will be.
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“The team I train with are my friends and I like training with them. I am looking forward to playing some matches with them soon.”
Jamie said teachers at Sanders Drapers School, in Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, had encouraged him with the sport, and in school. “Having good teachers and being treated normal helps, I am just like all the other kids in the school.”
His mum, Melissa Christofi said: “I’m so proud of him; It’s fantastic! “It all happened so fast; he was chosen within two weeks of joining and the coaches said they could tell he was good from the little things that he does.
“I put it down to the school for encouraging him. He has grown up so much since he has been there.
“Before, he wouldn’t want to try new things, but he loves wheelchair basketball and he has become such a part of the team. It is a big challenge for him, but it has been good as it is something for him to look forward to and focus on.
“He is a very bright little boy and very clever. He only needs help in school with the prosthetic limbs, but it doesn’t stop him from doing what he wants.
“Last year he got an award for perseverance. He has not let anything hold him back. He is a happy go lucky boy and will try his best.”
Hi teacher Miss Wickenden said: “He never complains, or makes a fuss, he simply gets on with whatever task we give him. He’s popular, cheeky and quite sarcastic at times. Since being at Sanders Draper he has gone from strength to strength and he has a particular talent for science.”