Body building a whole different ball game for basketballer

WHEELCHAIR basketball player Steven Elliot traded the court for the stage on Saturday, competing in the Gympie Muscle Muster body building event, winning two divisions and placing second in another.

Elliot said he loves the gym and staying healthy but body building was a whole different ball game.

"I did it for a bit of fun."

Organiser Mac Hosking approached Elliot if he would be interested in competing in the local event.

"He (Hosking) ran me through posing and gave me dieting tips for the last week before the event."

"I'm still feeling the effects of the tan," he said.

"The diet was crazy- a few days out and I was barely eating anything. I think it's more of mental battle.

"It is a good stepping stone for those wanting to go in to competitions."

Elliot won the half body weight bench press and men's disabled divisions and was second in junior men.

He said he was interested by body building because of how many competitors fit in to a category and that he could have ultimately have entered in any of the classes.

Basketball requires a lot of length in the muscles and to continue body building would mean that he would need to continue shortening those muscles which he says is not practical for his everyday life.

"Although basketball comes first I would consider doing more body building during the off-season."

"It makes you strong but in normal life I need more flexibility."

The athlete although still getting out on the court will not start his basketball season till January when he begins playing in the Sunshine Coast team in the state competition before progressing in to the national league in February when he plays for the RSL Spinning Bullets.

Elliott started playing wheelchair basketball in December 2009 after being diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which confined him to a wheelchair by the age of 13.

While representing Australia in Dubai last season, he crashed, breaking his wheelchair in half and crushing the front end.

The Bullets finished fourth last season and are looking for a spot higher up the ladder in next year, he said.

Gympie Times

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