Awesome Opportunities basketball is back for another season – supporting, empowering and encouraging people with physical and mental disabilities from across the region to be active, make new friends and have plenty of fun. 
Every Wednesday, more than 20 participants gather for a social and active evening of basketball, where they warm up, practise dribbling and passing and sort into teams before starting a game.
Basketball coordinator Shirley Ferguson said they run eight-week sessions a couple of times a year.
“This year we welcomed two more players into our amazing team and we always welcome new participants,” she said.
“The enthusiasm and sportsmanship shown by our players is inspiring. They are constantly improving their ball skills and can shoot for a basket like the professionals.
“Fellow coordinator Melissa Ward and I always encourage teamwork and fitness and everyone makes a 110 per cent effort. 
“Our volunteers include my daughter Jessica and Melissa’s daughters Breeana and Lindsey. Sam Sims helps referee and Tammy Bush from the Gunnedah basketball committee joins us. We also have parents and support workers join in, so it is fun for everyone.
“These awesome people love their basketball and it is the most enjoyable hour each week.”
Whitehaven Coal is also onboard, donating reversable singlets to Awesome Opportunities, much to the delight of participants and organisers. 
Gunnedah Workshop Enterprises disability support worker Sam Sims said the aim is to have fun, enjoy being active and have quality social interactions. 
“It is a safe way for people with disabilities to enjoy basketball, feel
empowered, improve their fitness and have fun,” he said.
“Exercise and getting out of the house is so important and this is a wonderful way to do just that.”

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