Jeff Beeston (‘x’ shirt) and Rob Parniak try out a couple of the specialized wheelchairs they repair, with the certificate of appreciation presented from CV Wheelchair Sports president Stephane Roy CV (cap) and club member Wayne MacKay (white shirt).

Jeff Beeston (‘x’ shirt) and Rob Parniak try out a couple of the specialized wheelchairs they repair, with the certificate of appreciation presented from CV Wheelchair Sports president Stephane Roy CV (cap) and club member Wayne MacKay (white shirt).

Courtenay bike shop supports Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports with equipment repairs

Jamie Bowman

Special to The Record

A motorcycle crash 10 years ago not only took Wayne McKay’s leg, it took his social life.

But now a different set of wheels has renewed it.

“More than anything, wheelchair basketball has given me social interaction again,” he says. “It means so much to me. It’s a social lifeline.”

Trail Bicycles owner Jeff Beeston recognized how important the club and its activities are to people like McKay. So he stepped up with support, repairing all the bent and damaged wheels, bearings and tires for the club.

The club felt Trail Bicycles’ owner Jeff Beeston and crew deserved some recognition for all the free labour and parts at cost. So last week, McKay and club president Stephane Roy presented Trail with a framed certificate.

“It was just something we could do,” said Beeston. “It doesn’t cost us a lot; we just fit it in.” It’s not much different to work on wheelchairs, according to Trail service advisor Rob Parniak. “Wheels are wheels.”

The club is really appreciative of Trail’s efforts, said Roy.

“Wheelchair basketball helps get disabled people off the couch and involved in the community again,” he said. “Without Trail’s help, we couldn’t have as many people playing as we do.”

Equally important as psychological well-being, physical activity is valuable for everyone, especially disabled people, who are often challenged to find activities they can still do, says Roy.

The club is resuming action Sept. 14 at the Comox Community Centre. Both disabled and able people are welcome to join.

“And we’re always looking for more funding,” says Roy. “We want to keep membership fees affordable but we have to pay for the use of the gym and for the gradual replacement of our older, hand-me-down basketball wheelchairs.”

For more information or to contact the club, look for Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports on Facebook or the club website.

Comox Valley