Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales —

Wikinews sat down with Great Britain men’s national wheelchair basketball player Ade Oregembe before a practice session at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge in Sydney.

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Nigerian-born Oregembe, one of twenty-four children, contracted polio when an infant. He started playing basketball after a random person suggested he take up the sport. Oregembe stated he’d never previously seriously considered any other sport. His wheelchair basketball journey has taken him to Spain (to play in their local league) and around the world with the Great Britain national team.

Oregembe was asked about two of the big Paralympic stories: Oscar Pistorius, and 5 point players —able-bodied competitors— competing in their sport at the Paralympics. He did not support Pistorius’s inclusion in the Olympics, nor inclusion of able-bodied athletes in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics.

While the United Kingdom has a reputation for sport-related racism, Oregembe said he had not experienced much of it on the courts. Elsewhere though, it was a different issue as he had experienced racism both to his face and behind his back, noting it was a particular problem in Spain.

Oregembe’s Great Britain side kicks off their London campaign on August 30 against the Germany men’s national wheelchair basketball team.