Jess Salmon, 19, has down syndrome, but her disability doesn’t prevent her from making a mark in local sport.
The avid basketballer plays for two teams; under 13s on Tuesday nights and under 15s on Friday, and winning a premiership last season.
“She was ecstatic,” her mum, Cathy said.
Cathy applauded all involved in the local association for including Jess.
“It is heart warming as children with disabilities often don’t get the opportunity to play competitive sports purely for that reason; it is competitive,” Cathy said.
However, being inclusive and fair is the priority to coordinator Jacqui Langstreth.
“When she dribbles down the court on Friday and the girls are bigger they don’t take the ball off her, they let her dribble,” Langstreth said.
“It makes it about teamwork and fun, not about scoring 600 goals, it teaches them more than it teaches her. She really gets the girls going and talks to them, and lets them know it’s about the team, not any individual.”
Team mates Zara Shaw and Charlotte Priest love playing alongside her.
“She’s really bubbly and nice and always gives it a fair go,” Shaw said.
“She’s really nice and good at shooting,” Priest said.
Sure enough, within a minute of the starting whistle Tuesday night Salmon had taken two shots at the basket, one rebounding off the rim and one just whisking past it.
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