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Team GB athlete Alex returns to college to lead wheelchair basketball session

Alex Marshall-Wilson, who studied Level 3 Sport at Coleg Llandrillo, took time out from training for this summer’s Junior European Championships

Coleg Llandrillo students took part in a wheelchair basketball session led by Team GB athlete Alex Marshall-Wilson.

Alex, who plays for Sheffield Steelers and Loughborough University, studied Level 3 Sport at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.

The 20-year-old from Deganwy is in the Great Britain squad preparing for this year’s Junior European Championships.

He returned to college with Ffit Conwy disability sport officer Mark Richards, putting on a practical session for learners studying Sport (Performance & Excellence) and Sport (Sport and Exercise Science).

Alex talked students through the basics of wheelchair basketball, taught them various skills and led them in a game of British bulldog.

Watch the full video here

They then got the chance to try wheelchair basketball themselves in a match situation.

Alex also told students how they could get involved in wheelchair basketball with local clubs such as Conwy Thunder, where he started his journey to elite sport.

While at the Rhos campus, Alex talked about his time at Coleg Llandrillo, saying: “It was absolutely amazing - everyone was so inclusive from tutors to classmates.

“I was coming from school where I wasn’t included in a lot of things. The mindset was completely different here - the teachers were like ‘how can we get him to do this?’

“My classmates were so open and honest about stuff. They wanted to ask questions and I was actually able to get a few people involved in the sport - some of them took on volunteering roles.”

Alex won the Sport & Public Services category at Coleg Llandrillo’s FE Achiever of the Year Awards in 2022, and at the ceremony was named Overall Winner for the college.

He said: “I couldn’t quite believe I’d been nominated for the sport one, and then to go on and win the overall Achievers’ Award was something I’d not really expected.”

Alex is now studying Sport and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University, and said coming to college helped prepare him for higher education.

“College helped me to prepare and know what’s to come,” he said. “Speaking with tutors about what university was going to be like was a big step forward.”

Alex recently travelled to Hanover, Germany, where his club Sheffield Steelers were playing in the EuroCup. He helped Great Britain win gold in the Kitakyushu Champions Cup in Japan in November, and his ultimate aim is to represent GB in the 2028 Paralympics in Los Angeles.

Sports lecturer Charlotte Walker-Jones thanked Alex for taking time out from his training to return to the Rhos campus.

She said: “It has been a fantastic day with the main focus on ensuring our sport students engage in a fun taster session for wheelchair basketball. All students have enjoyed the session, with some looking to sign up for a local team. A big thanks to Alex and Mark for delivering the session.

“It has been great to hear how well Alex is doing in Loughborough University after leaving the college in 2022. Alex was an exceptional student, and it has been a pleasure to have him back with us.”

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