BY JAMES TWOMEY
A teenager who had his £4,500 wheelchair stolen only a month after fundraising for two years to buy it is starting to raise the money all over again.
David Batista, 18, had bought a specialised sports wheelchair that he could play basketball in, but when he left it in the wheelchair area at the Brixton Recreation Centre on Saturday, it was stolen.
David was left with just the wheels as the blue and white RKG Elite frame had been taken from the wheelchair area, which is inside the recreation centre.
“I’m so upset,” said David. “When I went back to get my wheelchair I couldn’t believe it was gone.
“That’s my career. Why would someone do that? Basketball is my career and I would have loved to pursue that. I believe I could have become the best player around but now I don’t have the chance to show my potential.
My chair was stolen from the place I train and it has left me stranded, devastated and closed the doors of being a professional wheelchair basketball player and play for GB which was and still is my biggest dream.
“My mum is so upset too. It took us both so long to raise money for the chair.”
David, who lives in Westcote Road, Streatham, plays for the Brixton Ballers as a forward and has represented Lambeth in the London Games and London in national competitions.
He said: “My one was more bright and vibrant looking, so probably looked more expensive.
“I have another wheelchair I can use to play basketball but it’s not mine so it’s not made for me. That makes it more difficult to play.”
David uses crutches to get around after his leg was amputated when he was eight years old when he was found to have cancer in his leg which would have killed him. I would love to get the chair back. I only had it for a month.
The police said they are looking at CCTV so hopefully they will find the person who did this.
“But if not I will have to start fundraising again.”
A Met statement said: “Police are investigating after a report of a sports wheelchair stolen from Brixton Recreation Centre around 4.40pm on Saturday, September 7. No arrests, enquiries continue.”
You can donate to help David get a new wheelchair by searching for Junior David Batista on GoFundMe.
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