Ross Davidson says combining wheelchair basketball, DJing and weightlifting with a dollop of entrepreneurial spirit is the perfect recipe to propel him to the Commonwealth Games. Ross, 27, is one of Northern Ireland’s brightest wheelchair basketball talents and currently lives in the Steel City where he plays for the Sheffield Steelers.
Lockdown brought about a drastic change in his schedule but versatile Ross has continued to put in the hard yards ahead of Birmingham 2022. Away from the court, he’s indulged his passion for music by investing in a mixing deck – which he often combines with pumping iron in his makeshift gym.
He’s also growing a camper van rental company – called Cherry Tales Travel – and says juggling basketball with business is a lifestyle he loves. Ross, who travelled back to Carrickfergus for the first time in almost a year last month, said: “My pride and joy is my vintage VW camper van.
“I bought it two years ago as having to use a wheelchair completely changes the dynamics of travelling. I adapted it for myself so I could drive it – and I was able to travel as freely as I did prior to having a disability.
“Fast forward a year and a half on and I’ve found a lot of people want to take on my camper van. I’ve put a lot of investment into it and had it completely refurbished to make adaptations for amputees. It’s a little side project but something I want to expand on – I would like to have a little fleet so it’s a little company that runs itself.
“I’m really big into music and invested in some weights during lockdown. I’ve got into a routine of mixing while working out. It’s something I’ve never heard anyone do, but I’ve loved doing that. I love my lifestyle. To put it plainly, it’s rock and roll and I love it.”
Northern Ireland’s wheelchair basketball team will compete at the Commonwealth Games for the first time in their history next year. The competition adopts an entertaining, fast-paced three versus three format and Ross is gunning for selection when the squad gets cut in December.
He admits being one of the first athletes to fly the Northern Irish flag would be special and, with a psychology degree at the Open University now on hold, it’s time to seize the day.
Ross, whose career is financially supported by a partnership between Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid, and also has a job as a support worker for adults with complex disabilities, added: “2022 will be an exciting year.
“Competing at the Commonwealth Games is my short-term goal and would be absolutely incredible. I wouldn’t be able to believe that I got there and the fact that this is the first year with a Northern Ireland team in it is special.
“It would mean more to be in the first squad to actually compete in the Commonwealth Games. That’s what it would mean more than anything – being somebody who is part of a landmark in the sport. It’s going to be exciting.”
Entain is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Please visit entaingroup.com/entain-foundation to find out more!