Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Two Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketball players, Shelley Chaplin and Leanne Del Toso, are cycling around Fiji to raise money for people in Fiji with disabilities. They hope to cover the route, which is roughly 500 kilometers (300 miles) long, in just ten days. They started on June 7, 2013 and plan to finish by June 16.
Along the way, they intend to do outreach, and mentor people with disabilities. They hope to raise A$13,000. So far, they have raised over A$12,400. They are using crowdfunding to finance their sporting event.
Del Toso suffered muscle deterioration in her legs and hands due to a degenerative neurological condition when she was 19, and rides her bike with the aid of orthotics. Chaplin was born a paraplegic, and is using a handcycle.
They won silver medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London with the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, commonly known as the Gliders.
Both also played for Victoria in Round One of the Australia Women’s Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL) competition last weekend. Victoria won all four of its games. They expect to be back in action again in Round Two in Perth on June 21–23.