Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 4 News List

No bounds for wheelchair basketballer

PERSPECTIVE:Affected by a spinal condition, Su Chun had a tough start to life, but a positive attitude has taken him to the Asian Games and now a fulfilling job

By Yeh Kuan-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former national basketball player Su Chun goes about his work at a private company in Taipei on Wednesday.

Photo: Ye Kuan-yu, Taipei Times

Unwilling to bow to limitations imposed upon him by an illness that caused him to be confined to a wheelchair, 29-year-old Su Chun (蘇駿) has not only represented the nation in many basketball matches at the Asian Games, but has also looked beyond the ball court to society.

Su was diagnosed with a congenital spinal cord tumor at a young age, which gradually worsened until he was unable to walk at all.

“I recall being picked on in kindergarten because I limped, and I only attended elementary school for 28 days before dropping out,” Su said.

Thinking back on those 28 days, Su said he wore leg braces and was slower than his classmates.

He remembered one time being chastised because he lagged behind when everyone else in the class had already assembled for the early-morning flag-raising ceremony.

In those early days, Su said he blamed everyone and everything for his condition, but after attending the Homei Experimental School in Changhua County and seeing others with his condition or worse, he came to realize that he was quite fortunate.

“Seeing how school mates with cerebral palsy were incapable of looking after themselves, I realized how good I had it,” Su said.

When he started playing wheelchair basketball in his third year of junior-high school, he started a completely new chapter of life.

Su said that playing basketball made him feel that he had broken free of his physical constraints and that it was “thrilling and challenging.”

Now, in his current job, he is learning to feel the same way.

Working at New Life Information Services Co, Su and his colleagues all share common ground in that they all — to varying degrees — have spinal injuries.

All of them have taken computer courses, learning about Web site design, publication and printing processes, as well as how to make electronic books.

Su has also learned about online ticket sales systems and customer service, while also doing some art editing on the side, in what he said is a friendly environment where he is encouraged to play to his strengths.

Su said that his working environment is friendly and lighthearted, for which he is thankful, and that he felt ready to face new challenges.

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