Ettridge moves into new role with national body

Ettridge moves into new role with national body

Beijing Paralympic Games Gold Medal winning head coach Ben Ettridge has accepted full time employment with Basketball Australia, filling the newly created role of National Wheelchair Athlete and Coach Development Manager.

Ending an eight year teaching career, Ettridge will oversee and manage the Wheelchair National Intensive Training Centre Program (NITCP) and will develop initiatives relating directly to the identification and development of wheelchair basketball athletes that have potential to be national athletes and coaches.

He will continue to be the Head coach of the Rollers, Australia's men's gold medal winning wheelchair basketball team, and the reigning National Wheelchair Basketball League Champion Perth Wheelcats.

"It's a massive move forward for wheelchair basketball in this country and it's due to the success of the men's and women's programs," Ettridge said.

"We're hopefully able to consolidate on that success from Beijing and Athens and keep the sport moving forward so we can stay at the top of the world for as long as possible."

"To be able to dedicate myself to it full time is just giving the programs the respect they deserve."

Part of Ettridge's role will be to develop the pathways between the Wheelchair NITCP, the national men's and women's wheelchair programs, national U23 programs and state based programs along with increasing educational resources for wheelchair athletes and coaches.

"For me it's just great. I'm a basketballer and a basketball coach and to be able to do that full time is amazing. It's not every boys dream, but it was my dream to be a full time basketball coach for a long time so I'm very happy."

Getting immediately to work, Ettridge arrives at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra today to conduct an Australian wheelchair basketball camp until Sunday.

"We've got fifteen of our low and mid-pointers coming in, a few guys from the Beijing team and a few new guys, so that's very exciting. There are probably seven or eight athletes that haven't been to a camp of ours before so there's plenty of talent out there."

By Bill Baxter for BA Media