60 seconds with a Tayside athlete: Gemma Lumsdaine

Name: Gemma Lumsdaine

Branch: Angus Disability Sport

Sport: Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby

Club: Dundee Dragons and Caledonian Crushers

How did you get involved in your sport?

I had started playing wheelchair rugby league at my local club (Dundee Dragons) and through this was contacted by Tina Gordon, basketballscotland’s Wheelchair Basketball Development Officer, who was looking for another player to compete in the School Games (2013).  Having never played the sport before I felt very nervous but found I had transferable skills, so four weeks after starting playing the sport I competed for the Scotland U19 squad. From there on I was hooked!

Because of my level of functioning Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club suggested I should try wheelchair rugby as the sport is designed for people who have impairment in three or four of their limbs. Through the generosity of the Wooden Spoon charity some rugby chairs were purchased for the club. From this I then moved on to playing competitively and now as hoping to play at a high level in this sport.

How long have you been playing your sport for? Wheelchair basketball: 4 years; wheelchair rugby: 2 years

Biggest strength (as an athlete): Probably my determination and passion.

What’s the best thing about your sport?
In both sports I love the tactical side of the game and the team elements but I also love how fast and fierce both games can be.

What equipment do you need to take part in your sport? Both sports require the use of a specialist sports wheelchair.

Greatest sporting achievement: With basketball it was probably our gold at the Celtic Cup in 2016. With rugby it was being voted GBWR Best In Class in 2016 or speaking at the House of Lords as part of Wooden Spoons’ “Supporting Tomorrows Superstars” campaign.

Favourite para-athlete:  Jo Butterfield MBE

Favourite athlete to compete against: It’s too hard to choose there are so many awesome athletes out there.

Any advice for someone interested in your sport? Give it a go, you never know where it may take you!