THE Australian Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Wheelchair Basketball squad, the ‘Wheeling Diggers’, will put the finishing touches to a near perfect Games preparation when they take on the competition at the Slam Down Under Masters, commencing today.
The competition caters for all levels of wheelchair basketball experience with three divisions and a separate Masters tournament and will be held at the Kiama Leisure Centre.
Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester paid tribute to the Wheeling Diggers and wished them well for the competition.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work the Wheeling Diggers have put in on the court, to get their rehabilitation and recovery to a point where they can participate in adaptive sport events like these,” Mr Chester said.
“The true spirit of the Invictus Games is to see how far competitors have come in their lives through using the power of sport and the Wheeling Diggers are showing they are very much unconquered.
“I wish them every success and I look forward to seeing them in action in a few weeks’ time.”
The Wheeling Diggers’ Coach Warrant Officer Chris Williams said taking part in the Slam will allow his coaching staff to fine tune on-court strategy.
“This will be our final warm up prior to the Invictus Games. It will help the team get a feel for that competitiveness and will allow myself and Assistant Coach Dan Roberts, the opportunity to adjust any training or strategies that will place us in a better position for the main event,” Mr Williams said.
“There are five teams playing, we expect the standard to be high, which will give the team a good final hit out.”
The Wheelchair Basketball Team is part of the broader combined Australian Defence Force and Returned and Services League team of 72 competitors who have been wounded, injured or become ill during their military service.
They will compete in a range of individual and team sports at Invictus Games Sydney 2018, to be held from 20-27 October.