Bolton Bulls' battle to keep wheelchair basketball team on court

This Is Lancashire: Mananger of the Farmer’s Arms pub, Darcy Lever, Ben Berry with Sacha Aston, and front, Jon Jones, owner and chef and Steve Aston Mananger of the Farmer’s Arms pub, Darcy Lever, Ben Berry with Sacha Aston, and front, Jon Jones, owner and chef and Steve Aston

WHEELCHAIR basketball players have launched a fundraising campaign to secure funds to keep them on the court.

The future of Bolton Bulls Wheelchair Basketball team looked bleak last year when they faced a race against time to raise a minimum of £5,000 to cover the costs of training, playing and referees.

But with a major fundraising drive the members were able overcome the challenges they faced.

The team is now hoping to drum up support for their next major fundraising campaign to keep the club ticking.

The campaign named Bulls Biathlon will involve The Three Peaks Challenge and people taking part in the BUPA Steve Aston, club chairman, said: “We are not in the dire straits we were last year because we raised so much money.

“We need to raise about £5,000 each year. The club changes people’s lives. It gives disabled people in Bolton an outlet for support and learning life skills.”

Sacha Aston, Mr Aston’s wife, will be scaling Yorkshire’s three peaks with club coach, Dan Craddock.

They will climb Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in 12 hours. They will do the challenge on May 17.

On the following day Mr Aston, other team members and Jon Jones, the club’s sponsor from The Farmer’s Arms pub in Radcliffe Road, Darcy Lever, will put their fitness to the test by taking part in the BUPA Manchester 10km.

Mr Aston said in addition to the minimum funding they need, the players pay for subscription fees and travel costs out of their own pockets.

The club is hoping to attract new members but it costs about £3,000 to buy specially adapted wheelchairs for the sport.

The team hope to one day have wheelchairs that people can use when they attend rather than buy their own.

The club was founded more than 30 years ago and meets each week for training at Smithills Sports Centre. The team play in a Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball National League.

Anyone who can help can donate via justgiving.com/ bolton-bulls or visit Bolton bulls.com for more information.

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