Wheelchair basketball stars of the future need the public’s help

From left, Kelly Atkin with her daughters Adele, Jade and Tanya and her husband Paul    Picture: Sarah Standing (151377-1329)
From left, Kelly Atkin with her daughters Adele, Jade and Tanya and her husband Paul Picture: Sarah Standing (151377-1329)

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  • Sisters were healthy until their early teens
  • They developed debilitating genetic condition spastic paraplegia
  • Both are now in wheelchairs
  • Girls have taken up wheelchair rugby and are raising money for specialist chairs
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THEY were two happy and healthy sisters who enjoyed jumping around and having fun like any other young person.

But a debilitating genetic condition, which came on out of the blue, has left sisters Adele and Tanya Atkin unable to walk and reliant on wheelchairs.

I love playing the games

Adele Atkin

The pair developed hereditary spastic paraplegia in their early teens and will never be able to walk again.

It’s been a dark and gloomy time for the Atkin family in recent years, but a glimmer of hope has emerged – in the form of wheelchair basketball.

Adele’s whole persona has been transformed by playing the sport and her talent has been spotted by basketball coaches.

Now the family are desperately trying to raise £3,500 to buy the 15-year-old a sports wheelchair so she can flourish at the sport she has fallen in love with.

Depending on the success of the sports wheelchair appeal, the family, of Meadowsweet Way, Paulsgrove, are also hoping to raise a further £6,000 for the two sisters to have their own lightweight wheelchairs for day-to-day use.

The girls have NHS wheelchairs, but they are heavy and hard to get around for the sisters.

Talking about her new-found love of basketball, Adele, who attends Portchester Community School, said: ‘It’s been fun.

‘It can be difficult sometimes. I love playing the games.

‘It would help because the thing we have to use is quite heavy. I would be a lot faster.’

Tanya, 16, who plans to go to Fareham College, added: ‘It will make Adele happy.

‘I struggle with this – it’s heavy. I would like one you can push yourself.’

Adele now trains three times a 
week for Blackhawks, based in Aldershot.

She has set her sights on the higher echelons of the sport.

So the far the family have raised more than £1,000 towards the cause.

Dad Paul’s gym, Roko in Copnor, has been supportive and gym instructors Darin Melville and Antony Pink have helped to organise a charity spinning session on Sunday, September 13.

The event takes place from 8.30am to 10.30am.

To help the appeal visit gofundme.com/z445wns.