By Guest Blogger On June 11, 2015 Community Spotlight
Sixteen-year-old Ben Hagkull is a wheelchair basketball athlete who recently competed at the Canada Games in Prince George. The Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador dreams of playing for Canada internationally one day, and has been attending a wheelchair basketball academy in Toronto for the past two years.
Ben has never let having spina bifida stop him from reaching for his dreams. In addition to playing basketball for nearly 10 years, he has also completed 14 triathlons, finishing two of them by the time he was eight years old.
1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Funny, caring, adventuresome, kind, determined.
2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about playing wheelchair basketball and service trips to Mexico.
3. If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?
I would bring an NBA team back to Vancouver!
4. What is your favourite quote?
“Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else.” - Unknown
5. Describe a challenge you have overcome and how you dealt with it.
When I was much younger, I wanted to do a triathlon. My family worked on making that dream possible. My dad and I did them together. He pulled me in a special boat made by my grandpa for the swim portion. I was pushed in a special jogging wheelchair that had a lawn mower handle attached to it. For the bike portion, I was in a trail-a-long bike with velcro straps on the pedals. By the time I was 8 years old, I had completed 14 triathlons!
6. If you could remove one barrier what would it be?
I wish there was a way for everyday wheelchair users to climb stairs.
7. What are you most grateful for?
I’m most grateful for the fact that I live in a part of the world where I have access to a wheelchair. Not everyone born with spina bifida does.