New partnership in Australian basketball

New partnership in Australian basketball

In an exciting development, Wheelchair Sports Australia (WSA) and Basketball Australia (BA) will officially partner up to coordinate the 2009 Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL) writes Wheelchair Sports Australia.

Due to rising costs, the WNWBL was at risk of losing one round of the competition. As the underpinning program of the Australian Gliders Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team, the partnership will allow the WNWBL to continue in its current format of four rounds and a final series. On the back of the Gliders' championship win at the Osaka Cup in Japan last Saturday and bronze at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, it is hoped that this partnership will greatly assist the development of women's wheelchair basketball in Australia as well as the Gliders' goal of gold in London 2012.

Current Glider and Paralympian Sarah Stewart said, "The Australian Gliders have had fantastic support from Basketball Australia, and it is only with WSA's support that the WNWBL is now entering its tenth season in 2009."

"It is exciting that for the tenth season of the WNWBL we are able to have these two fantastic forces join together to strengthen the pathway to the Gliders' program. It is brilliant that the Gliders team that just won Gold in Osaka are able to come back to Australia and play in a strong league to not only strengthen their game, but also develop potential players for Australia's future teams. The WNWBL will greatly benefit from BA's expertise in conducting the able-bodied version: the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL)."

The first round of the WNWBL is due to kick off in Perth at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre from 1-3May 2009 with other rounds to be held in Melbourne and Sydney, culminating in the finals series being held in September in Sydney.