As most of you are probably aware, it's a year until the Paralympics. As a result the last month has been a very busy time, and for once it wasn't because of training.
The last month has mainly been all about promoting wheelchair basketball. With the Paralympics tickets going on sale this meant promo, promo and more promo was in order, to raise awareness of our sport and try to make wheelchair basketball the most popular event at the Paralympics!
Thursday 8 September was International Paralympic Day and we attended a big event in Trafalgar Square - you might have seen it in the news. Basically this was to promote Paralympic sports and it was good timing because Paralympics tickets went on sale the following day. As you can imagine with it being Trafalgar square it was rather busy! While there, we did a couple of demonstrations along with various other sports such as sitting volleyball and tennis (to name just 2). It turned out to be a very productive and fun day. In between demonstrations, we spent most of our time talking to the crowds and trying to encourage people to buy tickets to the Paralympics (not that any encouragement was needed!) while also signing autographs and posing for pictures. Which, by the way, was SO WEIRD! It's funny how others see us almost as celebrities, and highly respect the hard work we do to try and represent our countries. This is odd for us as generally we aren't well known outside wheelchair basketball and really consider ourselves normal people.
However, that event was just the start of our 5 minutes of fame, as on Saturday we were back promoting. This time it was Sainsbury's Super Saturday on Clapham Common, another event to celebrate one year until the Paralympics games. It was a music festival teamed with a load of Paralympics sports, offering the public a chance to try out various sports, and raising general awareness and popularity. The event went really well and the basketball stand had a constant queue of at least 40 people waiting to have a try. Now I must admit I loved doing the demonstrations and having a laugh with the general public, but I did find myself round the back in the VIP section getting a few pictures with the artists performing for a few minutes here and there. But when you see the line up, I'm sure none of you will blame me!
Finally, we had another event on Wednesday 14 September, this time in Birmingham. Again this saw us doing a few more demonstrations, only this time it was at a massive Sainsbury's conference (Sainsbury's being a main sponsor for the Paralympics). The demonstrations seemed to go down really well, and actually even had me shocked a little because I've never seen a group of adults get more involved over a small 3-on-3 demo! They cheered and shouted for every made shot or even pass for that matter - they tended to cheer their heads off like mad for anything.
All in all, it has been a very fun few weeks and good to get a few little perks along the way to 2012, but now it's back down to business and back into heavy training.
One last note though - don't forget to apply for Paralympics tickets! at www.tickets.london2012.com.