Gliders, Rollers begin World C'ships journey

Gliders, Rollers begin World C'ships journey

The road to World Championship glory is underway for the Australian Rollers and Australian Gliders national wheelchair basketball teams, with a busy training schedule beginning this week.

Preparations are well underway for the Australian Gliders women’s national wheelchair basketball team, with the team flying out to Japan earlier this week for an intensive week-long training camp with the Japanese national and development teams.

The Gliders squad sports a mix of young talent and stars from the 2012 London Paralympic Games, including Leanne Del Toso,Amber Merritt and Sarah Stewart, who are all expected to be key players for Head Coach Tom Kyle as he embarks on his first major tournament with the team.

Despite the sapping travel schedule, the Gliders settled into camp seamlessly, defeating Japan 55-51 in their first training game. This form was carried into the second and their third games, with impressive wins following.

The Gliders are in early preparation for the 2014 IWBF Women’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, which take place in Toronto, Canada from 17-29 June.

Back on home soil, the Australian Rollers men’s national wheelchair basketball team have also begun their journey to the 2014 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships.

Several of the team’s biggest stars have come together for the first mini-camp of 2014 at the Basketball Australia National Wheelchair Centre of Excellence at the New South Wales Institute of Sport, starting on Thursday.

The squad includes Paralympic stars Shaun Norris and Michael Hartnett, along with young stars Luke Pople and Tom O’Neill-Thorne for the five-day camp.

Australian Gliders squad – Tour of Japan

Ella Sabljak

Bridie Kean

Georgia Ingis

Shelley Cronau

Leanne Del Toso

Clare Nott

Kylie Gauci

Sarah Stewart

Kathleen O'Kelly-Kenndey

Amber Merritt

Australian Rollers squad – NSWIS Mini-Camp

Michael Auprince

Luke Pople

Tim Mackrow

Nick Taylor

Brad Fisher

Adam Deans

Michael Hartnett

Shaun Norris

Kim Robins

Andrew Liddawi

Tom O’Neill-Thorne

Gliders Squad – NSWIS Mini-Camp

Caitlin de Wit

Katie Hill

Stephanie van Leeuwen

Jess Cronje

Hannah Dodd

Catherine Nelson