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Raising awareness through annual wheelchair basketball tournament

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa.-- The 29th annual wheelchair basketball tournament was held at Mechanicsburg Middle School, hosted by the Naval Supply Systems Command Business Systems Center.

“They put this together and it takes a team to put this together and I’m just here to support it," said Shearod Learn, Chairiot Express Athlete.

The tournament is held to bring awareness to people with disabilities, during the 2018 National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Seven teams competed in the tournament.

“They really feel like other people can understand them and it’s probably really fun for them to laugh at us because we really don’t know how to play wheelchair basketball," said Evan June, Mechanicsburg Middle School 7th Grade Student.

The teams consisted of students, faculty and staff from Mechanicsburg and Good Hope  Middle School, the NAVY, civilian personnel and The Chairiot Express Wheelchair Athletic Association.

“It’s really competitive and really cool to have another school here to compete against us," said Arriel Frey, Mechanicsburg Middle School 8th Grader.

“I just want people to know that if you’re in a wheelchair or you’re disabled, you can actually participate in these sports," said Learn.

The Chairiot Express is a recreational and competitive wheelchair team.

“Feel the camaraderie, feel the atmosphere, it is so much fun and memorable as well,” said Captain Douglas M. Bridges, Jr., Commanding Officer of the NAVSUP Business Systems Center.

A total of seven games were played in the tournament.

‘I’ve been attending this for about 15-years and I think it’s great to see all the smiles and the people having fun,” said Tom McMaughton, Chairiot Express Athlete.

“Just means there’s other people out there that actually care," said Learn.

The Chairiot Express were victorious tonight, beating the civilian personnel for the championship.