After helping her team to a silver medal in London, three-time Paralympian Tina McKenzie has announced her decision to retire from the Australian Gliders women’s wheelchair basketball team.
McKenzie was a member of the Gliders team that came agonisingly close to winning Australia’s first ever women’s Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair basketball when they were narrowly defeated by Germany in the championship match in London earlier this year.
The 38-year-old primary school teacher from St Peters in New South Wales was a member of the Gliders team at the 2004 (silver medal), 2008 (bronze) and 2012 Paralympic Games (silver) as well as being a reserve in 2000.
She has played over 100 games for the Gliders and was also named captain of the team for the 2010 World Championships.
McKenzie says she leaves the sport grateful for the wonderful experiences she has shared with her teammates.
“I am thankful for the amazing basketball journey that I have had,” Ms. McKenzie said. “I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people that have been along this journey with me. The continued support from BA, APC, NSWIS, and WSNSW has allowed me to play the game that I love at the highest level and that is such an honour.
“I am honoured to be a part of the basketball and Paralympic community. I will always be proud to call myself a Glider,” Ms. McKenzie added.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally paid tribute to McKenzie’s remarkable career.
“Tina McKenzie is a truly inspirational athlete and a great Australian. We are immensely proud of her,” said Ms. Keneally.
“To earn the right to represent Australia at not one, but three Paralympics is a remarkable achievement, let alone to have been part of teams that have medalled at all three Games.
“She was a magnificent player and leader for the Gliders and she will be missed, but we thank her for her years of outstanding service to our sport.”