April 28, 2016
Jack Brown has dreams of representing his country at the Paralympics but in what sport is still up in the air.
Brown, who was confined to a wheelchair after a car crash in September, tried out several different disciplines at last week’s Halberg Junior Disability Games in Hamilton.
He was also scouted for training camps with a number of national sides and won two trophies, one for ‘Most Promising’ wheelchair basketball player and the other for ‘Personality of the Games’.
“I think it’s just me, it’s who I am, always talking to everyone. I’m really social. I’m always having a good laugh,” he said.
After the crash Brown started playing wheelchair basketball socially in New Plymouth but said the standard of competition at the Games was much higher.
“It was so much faster.”
Brown, who also competed in athletics, archery and badminton, said he’d been signed up for training camps for the national wheelchair basketball team and under 23 side.
He’d also be heading to the South Island later in the year to train for winter sports such as sit-ski, a discipline in which Taranaki’s Corey Peters was a world champion.
“I got signed up for quite a few sports actually,” Brown said.
“It feels a bit too soon, but I’ll take it and go with it.”
Brown played rugby before the crash and said he’d also be heading to Auckland to give the wheelchair version a go at some point.
He said adjusting to life in a wheelchair was hard but being involved in sport had helped.
“It’s good to get out with other people with disabilities.”
Going back to work was also a big part, he said.
“I’m a dairy farmer. I’m only doing about 10 to 15 hours a week at the moment. I do as much as I can in the wheelchair.”
Brown said he was hoping to get a wheelchair with bmx-type wheels that would aid in his work on the farm in future.
“You’ve got to make the most of it, you can’t let it hold you back. You’ve got to focus on what you can do. I can do basketball and I’m good at it so I’ll keep going and pump it.”