Disabled schoolboy Daniel-Jai Holehouse, 11, talks about how basketball has changed his life

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball.
Pic

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

When a jar of seaside air went up for sale on an auction website it was regarded as a humorous gimmick.

Norfolk Iceni Basketball Clubs Sharleen Bradley has been chosen to represent the East of England te

Norfolk Iceni Basketball Clubs Sharleen Bradley has been chosen to represent the East of England team at Under-17 level. Picture: Archant - Credit: Nick Butcher

In fact there was a serious side to the stunt - a bid to raise £5000 for a child's specialist sports' wheelchair.

Proud parents Matt Holehouse and Victoria River were willing to try anything - however outlandish - to raise money for vital equipment to help their disabled son play better basketball.

And while there was a single £1 bid for the £850 listing they hope other efforts will bring in more donations.

On Friday family friend Jon 'The Rocket' Ingram embarked on a 2000 mile cross-country trip from Great Yarmouth to Lands End and John O'Groats and back again to help 11-year-old Daniel-Jai achieve his dream of playing at Paralympic level.

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball. Dan

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball. Daniel with is dad,Matt. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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The offshore worker aimed to complete the journey in two or three days and to post regularly via a bike-cam.

Mr Holehouse, 43, a tattoo artist, said he was totally overwhelmed by Mr Ingram's epic act of kindness, adding: 'It's quite something.'

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Daniel has a rare bone condition which means he spends most of his time in a wheelchair.

Since being diagnosed as a very young child he has had ten operations, including several to insert telescopic rods in his legs and pin his hips.

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball.
Pic

Daniel-Jai Holehouse needs a new wheelchair to help him compete at a higher level in basketball. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

However since discovering basketball two years ago he has found a new lease of life.

Not only does he love the sport, he is good at.

Just two months after joining the Norwich Lowriders he was playing at national level and had been spotted by talent scouts.

But to reach his full potential he needs a better wheelchair.

The Caister Junior School pupil has already been measured up for an elite chair that will grow with him and give him the speed and manoeuvrability he needs to beat the best.

Daniel said: 'Most people have a sport they can do. My sport is wheelchair basketball. It means so much to me because most kids cannot do what I can do. It is making me stronger and faster.

'The competitive side is really fun. It can be quite challenging because some of the players are five years older than me but I am faster than them sometimes which is cool. And it is fun being a team player.'

Mr Holehouse added: 'I have never been able to buy him a bike or anything but if this chair helps this inspirational little man achieve his goal I would say it is a pretty good investment.'

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