PUPILS at Crossgates Primary received a lesson in shooting hoops with a difference last week as they tried their hand at wheelchair basketball.

The school, which last year received a sportscotland Gold School Sport Award for its innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport to young people in the school community, were visited by representatives from Basketball Scotland last Thursday.

Pupils in P4-7 took part in wheelchair basketball sessions led by Conor Smart, the national under-15 coach, after the school's sports committee wrote to the organisation as part of a focus on inclusion within sport.

Principal teacher, Jemma Thomas, explained: "Our focus this term has been on inclusion within sport, and some of the children didn't realise that adaption is not necessarily easier.

"The sports committee were thinking about different sports and came up with wheelchair basketball, and they wrote to Basketball Scotland to ask if they could borrow some chairs and equipment. They wrote back and offered to come in and take a session.

"They brought 15 chairs – so everyone got to take part – and it was harder than they thought! In standard basketball, you mostly use your legs, but a lot of the children were saying their arms were aching by the end!

"Conor talked about what it takes to be an athlete, and the children were really inspired listening to him. They are already talking about ways that they can adapt other sports, and what they can do in the playground."

Crossgates is one of just five schools in Fife to receive a sportscotland Gold School Sport Award, a national, Lottery funded initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously evaluate and improve PE and school sport opportunities.

Jemma continued: "We did a lot in different sports and after-school provision, looking to make it inclusive if you have a disability, and that girls and boys have equal opportunities.

"Basketball Scotland want to promote wheelchair basketball but there's not a club in Fife for these ages. if they were looking provide provision in Fife, we've said that we would be happy to host a pilot at the school."

"We're keen to support them because they supported us by coming to take the sessions."

Basketball Scotland's Kieran Lynch, who also attended the event with colleague Tina Gordon, added: "It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight to the young pupils at Crossgates Primary that wheelchair basketball is a sport which bring team mates together through the fun of sport.

"We are trying to promote all versions of the game from wheelchair, to walking and running basketball, which make it one of the most accessible sports in the world."