Ace wheel chair basket ball player going to Tokyo Paralympics

By Staff

July 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

We first met Melanie Hawtin when she was playing wheel chair basketball at the Haber Recreational Centre.

What impressed us was not only the skill but her competitive nature.  When she wanted the ball – she went after it and usually got the ball.

We didn’t know all that much about the woman – we just liked what we saw. She was once on the fast track to a promising career as a wheelchair racer. A native of Oakville, Hawtin started racing as a child and quickly became a decorated athlete within the sport with hopes of representing Canada at the Paralympic Games.

Melanie is part of the Canadian Team representing Canada at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics. We will report on how the Canadian Team does.

That dream was put on hold after surgery forced her to take a hiatus from the track. It was during that hiatus that Hawtin started playing wheelchair basketball. She began competing with the Burlington Vipers club before going on to represent Ontario at the women’s national championship in 2013.

As a former competitive track athlete, speed is Hawtin’s greatest asset and she quickly outmanoeuvres her opponents up and down the basketball court. She ultimately drew the attention of the National Team program and made the Senior Women’s National Team in 2014. She made her Paralympic debut two years later at Rio 2016, where Canada finished fifth.

In 2019, Hawtin underwent shoulder surgery and did not compete at the 2019 Parapan American Games.

When she is not training with the National Team, Hawtin is busy honing her skills at the wheelchair basketball National Academy in Toronto.

Off the basketball court, Hawtin spends time with family and has a genuine love for fashion.

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