Three international debutants and eight Gliders have been announced as part of the Australian under-25 women’s wheelchair basketball team to compete at the upcoming IWBF World Championships in Thailand from 3-9 October.
The under-25 team, known as the Devils will be spearheaded by eight athletes who have previously featured as part of the Gliders senior women’s wheelchair team, including Tokyo Paralympian Isabel Martin.
Ebony Stevenson, Aaliyah Rauchle & Emerald Wilmshurst are making their international debuts as part of the Devils program, with the event providing a valuable opportunity for the next generation of players to experience international competition and compete for their country at a junior level.
Australia won the silver medal behind the USA at the last IWBF Under 25 World Championships in 2019. The World Championships format is ten teams, with the Devils drawn in a tough pool featuring reigning champions, the United States, along with strong contenders Great Britain, Spain, and China.
The Devils recently completed a pre-event training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport and Head Coach Janna Mizens says they have risen to the challenge of limited time together on the training court.
“Our preparation started two years ago in some of our initial camps, and we had some competition on the Sunshine Coast,” Mizens said, “but a lot of our girls are training on their own, so through online sessions we’ve connected each week to work on their individual skills such as chair movement and ball handling.”
“When we’re together we’ve focused on building team concepts and maximised the time we had as a group,” Mizens said.
Captain Annabelle Dennis said the event is a great opportunity for the whole roster.
"I'm so excited to be heading to Bangkok to compete at worlds with such a great group of athletes and support staff. Being able to come together to compete is such an amazing experience, and I feel lucky to be part of it. I can't wait to see what we can do on the world stage."
Basketball Australia General Manager of wheelchair programs Leigh Gooding has thanked the AIS and the Federal Government through the Australian Sports Commission for their support of Australia’s wheelchair teams, along with a recent funding commitment to assist preparation for the Paris Paralympic Games.
“This World Championship is a fantastic opportunity for our next generation of Gliders to get some tough international competition, and we have a handful of players who will be hopeful of securing a place in the Paris Paralympic team,” said Gooding.
“We are very grateful for the Paris Preparation assistance we’ve received through the Federal Government and the Australian Institute of Sport for our high-performance programs."
|Australian Devils for U25 World Championships|
|Annabelle Dennis (capt)||SA/SASI|
|Head Coach||Assistant Coach||Assistant Coach|
|Janna Mizens (NSW)||Dave Kelly (Qld)||Samantha Muraca (Vic)|
|Physiotherapist||S & C, & Recovery||Team Manager|
|Paula Grylewicz (Vic)||Cameron Lane (Qld)||Jane Kyle (Qld)|
|Under 25 Australian Devils schedule|
|04/10/2023||2:45 pm AEST||Australia vs. Great Britain|
|04/10/2023||10:30 pm AEST||Australia vs. China|
|05/10/2023||3:45 pm AEST||Australia vs. Spain|
|06/10/2023||12:45 pm AEST||Australia vs. USA|
Read more on the IWBF World Championships here.