Graduate hopes his Paralympic coverage gives Wheelchair Basketball a greater platform

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A University of Worcester graduate who was in Tokyo for the 2020 Paralympic Games this summer hopes his efforts reporting on the Wheelchair Basketball will lead to a greater awareness of the sport.

Dylan Cummings worked as a Freelance Journalist for Rollt, the world’s only wheelchair basketball magazine, collecting post-game statements from players after their matches in Tokyo.

“I’m really passionate about disability sport and in particular wheelchair basketball,” said the 23-year-old, who studied Journalism and Media & Culture at Worcester. “Even though the Paralympic coverage is improving there’s still very little public knowledge about disability sport in general. I was proud to be in Tokyo and grow the profile of the sport. It’s been great, I have loved the experience and I hope that I have made some difference.”

Dylan, who was born with Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, was the only journalist working on the ground for Rollt at the Games, interviewing English-speaking players across a variety of teams. He was accredited through ParalympicsGB and covered many of the Great Britain games, including the playoff match that saw the men’s team secure a Bronze medal. Dylan said he had most enjoyed seeing international competition resume live in-person after a long two-year break.

“My work was going online just as Europe was waking up, so people were aware of what was going on,” he said. “The reaction has been positive.”

Dylan said he was pleased to have gained such an experience so early on in his career. “It’s a massive achievement, it’s massive as a journalist with a disability,” he said. “It’s huge for me to be at the Paralympics because it’s the biggest disability sport event in the world. I’m really proud to have represented Rollt at the Paralympics. I built up a good professional portfolio whilst I was there and hopefully, with this on my CV, it will open up other opportunities within the Sports Journalism field.”

Dylan got involved in wheelchair basketball in 2013, playing for the Carlisle Panthers and then the Scotland U19 squad from 2014 to 2017. He also played for the University and Worcester Wolves teams. Recognising his passion for media, his Scotland coach put him in touch with the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), where he began interviewing world-class players. He also provided commentary at the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

This proved to be a turning point for Dylan as he met the founder of German-based magazine, Rollt. He became their English-speaking Content Producer and continues to do freelance work for them today. Tasked with expanding the magazine’s international audience, Dylan built up good relationships with players through interviews. He has covered major events including IWBF Europe Champions Leagues, the Women’s European Championships in 2019, and, in June, covered the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup), in Spain.

After finishing his undergraduate degree in 2019, Dylan worked for over a year at basketballscotland as their Digital Communications Assistant. He has just finished his Master’s degree in Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University.

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