Rollers Rip It Up

The Rollers’ first selection camp of the year has wrapped up in Victoria, with 11 of our top Australian-based wheelchair basketballers being put through their paces ahead of the team's first international hit out next month in Europe.

The 11-strong training squad saw athletes hailing from Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland come together for three days at Paralympic Australia's facility located at The Hangar in Essendon. Heading the charge is Rollers’ Coach and decorated Australian Paralympic gold medalist, Grant Mizens, who is committed to priming the athletes for a successful year.

“The time we have together is so valuable and our three-day camp is quite structured because we have a lot to get through, so we fill the days up with several on-court training sessions, as well as strength and conditioning sessions.

“The boys take their roles of being an athlete very seriously, but there is no substitute for being out on the court with teammates where we can implement frameworks, skills and systems.”

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Member of the Tokyo 2020 Rollers squad, Sammy White, said representing Australia on the world stage is the ultimate honour.

“Putting on the green and gold is the pinnacle of any sport and I get to do it with these guys who I’ve been playing with and against for upwards of eight years.

“It’s just a great feeling when you know the team, you know why you’re there, and you know what you’re all doing, so there’s really no greater achievement within the sport for me,” said White.

The selection camp marks the first step to the build-up towards the Roller’s exciting journey ahead, as they gear up for a packed year of events. Anticipation is high as they look forward to the upcoming World Championships, scheduled to be held in Dubai from June 9-21, followed by the highly awaited Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

“We have a jam-packed calendar this year, with the delay of the World Championships last year in November meant things got put on hold, and this selection camp is the beginning phase of really dialing things up for us.

“We are going on tour to The Netherlands and Belgium for two weeks next month, and off the back of that we will be in full steam with the team selection phase for the World Championships in June.

“There won't be much rest after that as we will be trying to put together a domestic league here in Australia, because we’ll have qualifiers at the end of this year, which will then lead into the Paris Paralympics next year," said White.

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