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KwaZulu Natal Basketball Star Justin Govender

KwaZulu Natal Basketball Star Justin Govender

Interview by Wheels on Wings 

18 years ago, South African Wheelchair Basketball Star, Justin Govender was shot in the back by a policeman. Coming from a sporting background, Justin didn’t waste any time sitting around and waiting for miracles to happen

– instead, he made them happen. In an interview he shared his story and told us how spinal cord injury has affected his life.

Please share with us how you sustained your spinal cord injury?
You don’t have to go into detail if you don’t want to bud I was shot by the police, I was out with my friends.
We met a friend, of one of my friends who couldn’t drive cause he was drunk. My friend offered to drive the vehicle. The car was a stolen car, the police gave chase, I panicked, got out the car and ran. I was shot in the back.

What did you first think about after the accident?
How I was going to explain this to my parents. Was I going to die, I didn’t want to die without saying sorry to my parents for letting them down.

What further goals did you set yourself after the accident?
I didn’t set any goals, that’s the honest truth, I just met good people along the way who lead me to all the great things I have experienced in my life.

How did you get involved in wheelchair basketball?
A friend of mine introduced me to the sport, we used to train at the same gym, The St Giles Gym, he was driving pass DUT in Mansfield Raod and saw abunch of guys training outside. He asked me if I was interested and I said yes, reported there in the afternoon and 12 years later it was a decision I never regretted.

Which are the biggest barriers in your everyday life?
Having to work, lol!!!!!! Nah there are no significant barriers in my life, I haven’t really given that one too much of thought yet.

What are the most positive aspects in your life?
Being active and having someone to share everything with Work and building our own home.

What are your dreams for the future?
I currently work for a very generous bank, however I have always felt a pull towards teaching.

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