Tokyo Paralympics spot is dream come true for Littlehampton basketball ace

Littlehampton star Lewis Edwards is set to make his Paralympic debut after being named as part of the squad who will represent Great Britain in wheelchair basketball in Tokyo.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 7:52 am
Lewis Edwards

The Games run from August 24 to September 5 and the GB men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams are ranked first and second in the world respectively.

Edwards’ career has progressed rapidly since he was introduced to wheelchair basketball by a friend in 2014.

A promising discus athlete in his teenage years, he won gold in the discus at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Junior Games.

Wanting a team sport, he fell in love with the intensity and team aspect of wheelchair basketball.

Beginning his playing career with Tornados in British Wheelchair Basketball’s Development League, within 12 months Edwards was playing in the Premier Division and was recruited to the GB Junior Programme after attending his first camp.

The 22-year-old has been a long-standing part of the British Wheelchair Basketball set-up and is no stranger to international success.

A regular member of the GB Junior squad, Edwards was part of the U23 World Championship winning side in 2017 in Toronto.

After a year in the BWB centralised programme, working with GB coaches Haj Bhania and Steve Caine, also playing for CWBA, Edwards moved to play in the Division de Honor in Spain.

Ecstatic at having been selected to compete at the pinnacle of international sport, Edwards said: “It’s very clichéd but it’s a great honour to be able to represent my country at the highest level and hopefully make everyone proud.

“It’s been such a tough year for everyone - we didn’t know if it [the Paralympics] was going to go ahead, so it’s a massive achievement for everyone involved to get us there and showcase the sport at its highest level and hopefully do the nation proud. One of my biggest regrets is not starting the sport earlier, so my advice to anyone would be to go and give it a go.”

Edwards will hope his Paralympic exploits will inspire the young people of Sussex to begin their own wheelchair basketball journey.

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