Eleven Australians have been selected to compete at the 2019 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Women’s Under-25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Suphan Buri, Thailand, from 20-29 May.

The World Championships feature eight countries, with the Australian Devils the current bronze medallists from the 2015 edition in Beijing, China.

“This is an exciting time as we get ready for the upcoming U25 World Championships in Suphan Buri. We have a young team of exciting athletes that we believe have fantastic opportunities in front of them,” said Head Coach Stephen Charlton.

“Ranging from ages 13 all the way up to 21, this will be an incredible opportunity for these players to experience international competition and compete for their country.”

Most of the athletes selected have experience playing at WNWBL level, with Maryanne Latu, Jess Cronje, Georgia Bishop-Cash, Mary Friday, Isabel Martin and Taishar Ovens having been a part of the national league for several years.

Three developing athletes in Lauren Hardbottle, Sarah King and Victoria Simpson have also been named, and will be eligible to compete at the next three U25 World Championships.

“We have selected 11 players to take part, starting with current Glider, Annabelle Lindsay. Lindsay participated in the [2018 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball] World Championships in Hamburg [Germany] last year and is joining us after completing a year of college at the University of Texas [at] Arlington,” said Charlton.

“She will be joined upfront and inside by exciting 16-year-old talent Teisha Shadwell. Teisha is a very exciting young talent and this will be a great opportunity for her in her first real exposure to international wheelchair basketball.”

The Australian team has drawn a tough pool featuring the USA, Germany and Turkey, with their first game against Germany expected to be a crucial match-up for their quarter-final cross-over chances.

“This is a great opportunity and one that all the players and staff are very much looking forward to,” added Head of Wheelchair Basketball Leigh Gooding. “Being selected to represent your country on the international stage, and to be able to play at the highest junior level is an honour.

“This is a young developing group, and a fantastic squad of young women that will do us proud. They will need to come together very quickly in the early rounds, in what is sure to be a testing environment to make a run at a medal, but we are confident with the personnel we have selected.”

Team – 2019 IWBF Women’s Under-25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships
Athlete Classification State
Annabelle Lindsay 4.5 ACT
Teisha Shadwell 4.5 VIC
Georgia Bishop-Cash 4.0 QLD
Jess Cronje 4.0 NSW
Lauren Hardbottle 4.0 WA
Sarah King 3.0 QLD
Maryanne Latu 2.5 NSW
Mary Friday 1.0 WA
Isabel Martin 1.0 VIC
Taishar Ovens 1.0 WA
Victoria Simpson 1.0 NSW
Name Role State
Stephen Charlton Head Coach WA
Sarah Graham Assistant Coach NSW
Dave Hegerty Assistant Coach / Technical Coach QLD
Bonnie Kerr Physiotherapist VIC
Jane Kyle Team Manager QLD
Steph Shell Physiologist ACT
Draw – 2019 IWBF Women’s Under-25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships
Date Game Time
23 May Germany v Australia 19:00
24 May Australia v Turkey 18:00
25 May USA v Australia 20:15
26 May Quarter-finals TBC
27 May Semi-finals TBC
28 May Finals and placings TBC

By Basketball Australia
Posted: 14/05/2019
Photo with thanks to MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper