Three players making their international debuts and eight Gliders have been announced as part of the Australian under-25 women’s wheelchair basketball team to compete at the IWBF World Championships in Thailand from October 3 to 9.
The U25 team, known as the Devils, will be spearheaded by eight athletes with Gliders senior women’s wheelchair team experience, including Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Isabel Martin.
Ebony Stevenson, Aaliyah Rauchle and 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.
The World Championships format is ten teams and the Devils have been drawn in a tough pool featuring reigning champions the US and strong contenders Great Britain, Spain and China. Australia won the silver medal behind the US at the previous U25 World Championships in 2019.
The Devils recently completed a pre-event training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport and Head Coach Janna Mizens said they had risen to the challenge of limited time together on the training court.
3 international debutants and 8 @AusGliders have been announced as part of the Australian under-25 women’s #WheelchairBasketball team to compete at the upcoming @_IWBF World Championships.— AUS Paralympic Team (@AUSParalympics) September 14, 2023
Let's go Devils 👏
📸: @BasketballAus #ImagineWhatWeCanDo pic.twitter.com/80eyQOnXQP
“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.”
Captain Annabelle Dennis said the event was 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 thanked the AIS and 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,” Gooding said.
“We’re 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.”
Devils World Championship Team
Laura Davoli (VIC/Victorian Institute of Sport)
Annabelle Dennis (c) (SA/SA Sports Institute)
Breanna Fisk (NSW/NSW Institute of Sport)
Katelin Gunn (SA/SA Sports Institute)
Lauren Hardbottle (WA/WA Institute of Sport)
Sarah King (QLD/Qld Academy of Sport)
Maryanne Latu (NSW/NSW Institute of Sport)
Isabel Martin (VIC/Victorian Institute of Sport)
Aaliyah Rauchle (NSW)
Victoria Simpson (NSW/NSW Institute of Sport)
Ebony Stevenson (WA/WA Institute of Sport)
Emerald Wilmshurst (QLD/Qld Academy of Sport)
Head Coach: Janna Mizens (NSW)
Assistant Coaches: Dave Kelly (Qld) and Samantha Muraca (Vic)
October 4, 2:45pm AEDT: Australia v Great Britain
October 4, 10:30pm AEDT: Australia v China
October 5, 3:45pm AEDT: Australia v Spain
October 6, 12:45pm AEDT: Australia v USA
Watch games on IWBF’s YouTube Channel and follow the live stats
By: Basketball Australia
Posted: 15 September 2023
Image: Basketball Australia