Northern Ireland news

Co Antrim man who lost leg in Thailand accident appeals for sponsor to help fund wheelchair basketball dream

Ross Andrew Davidson has received an offer to play for one of the UK's top wheelchair basketball teams
Marie Louise McConville

A Co Antrim man who had a leg amputated after an accident in Thailand almost two years ago has received an offer to play for one of the UK's top wheelchair basketball teams - but needs to find a sponsor to help make it happen.

Ross Andrew Davidson (25) has been given the chance to play for the Sheffield Steelers, which has produced many players who have gone on to represent Britain in the World Championships and Paralympics.

The former Carrickfergus Grammar School pupil suffered a catalogue of serious injuries in a scooter accident in December 2017 while he was spending time in Pai in northern Thailand.

Doctors were forced to amputate his right leg above the knee after life-threatening sepsis set in.

In May 2018, after being fitted with a new prosthetic limb, he took his first steps back on two feet with the help of the team at Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast.

He is currently studying for a psychology degree so that he can help others and has also just returned from a solo travelling trip across Europe.

A member of the Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club in Belfast, he has now received an offer to play for the Sheffield Steelers and train at Sheffield Academy.

"I am training with my coach back here and I am going over to meet the GB coach in Sheffield and have a look at the academy in a couple of weeks' time. I want to move in October or November," he said.

However, as Ross's sports chair is borrowed and can not be taken to Sheffield, he is searching for a sponsor to fund his dream.

"It's really difficult to get sponsorship right now," he said.

"I have put my fingers in all pockets, spoke to every company, every sponsor. Nobody has come back and said no, it is just waiting a game.

"I am trying to find a grant or sponsorship to get me a new sports chair so that I can go over and play to the highest standard that I need to. It would also be for the cost of living. Ideally, I would need £5,000 and that would cover me for a year."

The Carrickfergus man said in the last year he has gone "from not knowing where my life is going to knowing what direction it is going in".

"This is also to prove to myself and my family and to other amputees that they can still have a life and turn their life around trauma," he said.

"If I end up playing on a GB squad, other amuputees and people with disabilities will know they can do it too."

:: Anyone interested in sponsoring Ross Andrew Davidson can contact him on rossd116@googlemail.com or through Facebook.

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