The Josiah Quincy Elementary School (JQES) teachers took on the New England Blazers Wheelchair Basketball Team on March 17 at the school gym. The Quincy Dragons lost the game by two points, for a 44-46 score.
Students of all grades came to the gym and watched the match with full enthusiasm, shouting and cheering for both teams when they made baskets. Several handicapped students in wheelchairs also watched the match.
The game against the amateur team was organized by Thomas Levett, a physical education teacher at JQES. One of his first students, Jacob, was handicapped.
“Last year, when I reached out to the young boy, he had passed away — it made me very sad,” Levett said. “I contacted the New England Blazers to hold a wheelchair basketball match to honor Jacob.”
For the second half, about 50 students had the chance to play basketball in wheelchairs with the Blazers. “It is definitely a great experience for the students, very interesting and challenging — I am teaching my three-year-old son as well,” said Levett.
This is the second time the Blazers visited the school. The New England Blazers Wheelchair Basketball Team is an affiliate of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. The team has played since 1992, winning 10 championships.
“We have a high population of students who have physical challenges in JQES and other charter schools nearby,” Levett said. “We want these students to know even if they are different, they can still play sports — not to just give up.”
JQES is one of the few wheelchair-accessible locations in Boston Public Schools. It serves 828 students, including children who use wheelchairs. JQES will hold wheelchair basketball matches annually, to raise community awareness for handicapped students and show them support.
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