The Gliders topped Japan on their home soil at the Osaka Cup in February and the Aussies also came up trumps in Beijing, defeating Japan to win Bronze at the 2008 Paralympic Games, so despite the ‘friendly’ tag the rivalry is fierce with national pride on the line as Japan aims to avenge their earlier losses.
The Gliders will play Japan at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in a four game series, coinciding with the men’s IWBF World Championship qualifying event, the Asia Oceania Championship for Men.
The team features eight Beijing Paralympians including 2009 Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League Most Valuable Player Kylie Gauci.
The event will also play host to the Gliders 20th Anniversary Reunion on Saturday 17 October, celebrating the proud history of women’s wheelchair basketball in Australia which now boasts three Paralympic and three World Championship medals.
At the luncheon past, present and future Gliders, such as 16-year-olds Amber Merritt and Jessica Pellow, will mix with players and staff who represented Australia in the past 20 years, including members of the original 1989 group and five-time Paralympian Liesl Tesch.
Australian Gliders team for Japan series:
Name / Association / Age
Clare BURZYNSKI / Perth Western Stars, WA / 23
Amanda CARTER / Victorian Dandenong Rangers, VIC / 45
Cobi CRISPIN / Perth Western Stars, WA / 20
Melanie DOMASCHENZ / Victorian Dandenong Rangers, VIC / 25
Leanne DEL TOSO / Victorian Dandenong Rangers, VIC / 29
Katie HILL / Hills Hornets, NSW / 25
Tina McKENZIE/ Victorian Dandenong Rangers, VIC / 35
Amber MERRITT / Perth Western Stars, WA / 16
Kathleen O'KELLY-KENNEDY / Goudkamp Gladiators, NSW / 23
Sarah STEWART / Hills Hornets, NSW / 33
Sarah VINCI / Perth Western Stars, WA / 17
Jessica PELLOW / Hills Hornets, NSW / 16
Kylie GAUCI / Goudkamp Gladiators, NSW / 24
Head Coach: John TRISCARI / Head Coach, Perth Western Stars, WA
Asst. Coach: Ben OSBORNE / Head Coach, Goudkamp Gladiators, NSW
Asst. Coach: Matthew DUNSTAN / Head Coach, Victorian Dandenong Rangers, VIC
Physiotherapist: Emma WHITESIDE
Manager: Marian STEWART
Gliders Schedule – all events at Dandenong Basketball Stadium
October 14: Australia v Japan – 12.00pm
October 15: Australia v Japan – 12.00pm
October 16: Australia v Japan – 4.00pm
October 17: Australia v Japan – 10.00am
Gliders 20th Anniversary Reunion Luncheon – 12.30pm