Rollers honoured by world body

Rollers honoured by world body

Australia’s men’s wheelchair basketball team has been recognised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) with the 2009 Paralympic Sport Award for Best Team Performance.

The Rollers won a Gold Medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing with a 72-60 victory over reigning World and Paralympic Champions Canada and took home two Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal from three other international events last year.

Acknowledgment on a global level comes after the Rollers were honoured on a national level by the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) as the 2008 APC Team of the Year.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock expressed pride at the achievement.

“The Rollers’ performance in Beijing was outstanding and we are extremely happy that the team is continuing to be recognised for its Gold Medal achievement.

“The toughness and determination that they display on court is something that all of our teams want to emulate.”

Rollers head coach Ben Ettridge was humbled to receive the news.

“We were ecstatic to receive recognition from the Australian Paralympic Committee so to receive this acknowledgement from the world governing body is overwhelming,” Ettridge said.

“It is a testament to the skill and dedication of our wheelchair basketballers and it reinforces what a terrific group of ambassadors they are both on and off the court.

“I am extremely proud.”

Australians won three of the ten awards, with Great Britain scoring two and Canada, New Zealand, China, Germany and Croatia taking home one apiece.

Swimmer Matthew Cowdery, the 2008 APC Paralympian of the Year, was honoured by the IPC as Best Male Athlete while ABC TV won the Broadcast category of the Paralympic Media Award.

The winners were selected by three Awards Committees, composed of members of the Paralympic Movement and specialists in the relevant areas, and will be presented with a trophy at a Gala Dinner during the 2009 IPC General Assembly, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 22 November.

The Paralympic Sport Awards 2009 were awarded in five categories, based on performance at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games as follows:

Best Male Athlete: Matthew Cowdery (AUS), Swimming
Best Female Athlete: Chantal Petitclerc (CAN), Athletics
Best Team Performance: Australian Men's Wheelchair Basketball Team (AUS)
Best Games Debut: Sophie Pascoe (NZL), Swimming
Exemplary Games Official: Wang Xinxian (CHN), Chef de Mission

The Paralympic Media Awards 2009 honour members of the media who presented the highest quality and most dynamic coverage of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, in four categories as follows:

Broadcast: ABC TV (AUS)
Written (Print/Online): The Sunday Telegraph (GBR)    
Radio: BBC Radio (GBR) 
Photo: Damir Sencar (CRO)

The Paralympic Scientific Award 2009, which recognizes one outstanding contributor for research in the field of sport for persons with a disability, was awarded to Gudrun Doll-Tepper of Germany

More information about the Paralympic Awards and a brief profile of each Award winner can be found at

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.

The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

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