With the entire sport of basketball going through a resurgence in Australia, Disability Sport Australia (DSA) and Basketball Australia (BA) are taking the opportunity to build the discipline of Wheelchair Basketball throughout the country.
To drive this comprehensive review of wheelchair basketball in Australia, DSA and BA have formed a joint working group consisting of Jenni Cole, Nick Taylor, Matt Wells, Lorraine Landon and Libby Woods. The objectives of this group are to review and provide recommendations for the improvement of the management and governance of the sport, for the improvements in local and national competitions, including athlete identification and pathways, and regarding the membership of the IWBF, including feedback from the IWBF on what they are seeking from the Australian member.
Keen to ensure that wheelchair athletes get continued support, DSA Chief Executive Jenni Cole said that she was looking forward to establishing a new era and having more international competitions in Australia. “Our wheelchair basketballers are amongst the best in the world on a consistent basis”, said Cole. “We have helped to build a pathway over many years and now we have the opportunity to see that flourish by working together and supporting the athletes who are striving every day to be the best they can.”
BA Chief Executive Jerril Rechter is passionate about promoting all aspects of basketball. “Wheelchair Basketball has been a part of our sport for as long as I can remember”, said Rechter. “There are more and more opportunities to promote this area of the game and together with DSA, we want to ensure our best athletes get the opportunity to represent their country on home soil. With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics just around the corner, now is the time for us to put these fabulous athletes on display.”
Broad stakeholder consultation is a critical part of this review, and as a first step administrators and participants across the sport will soon receive an invitation to complete a survey on the way in which Wheelchair Basketball should be administered and promoted to ensure a strong future. This Wheelchair Basketball Survey will be distributed on Thursday 17 October 2019 and remain open for two weeks. Following this, the responses will be used to help drive changes designed to ensure the best possible future for Wheelchair Basketball and those that participate in it.