Born with a limb deficiency affecting his right leg, Shawn Russell was 16 when he decided to have it amputated through the knee. While recovering in hospital, wheelchair basketball pioneer Eino Okkonen encouraged Shawn to give wheelchair basketball a try, and though initially reluctant, he attended a Wollongong Roller Hawks training session and was hooked.

Making his Rollers debut at the 2009 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships in Dandenong, where he and the team won gold, Shawn also helped to secure victories in the NWBL, winning two championship titles with the Wollongong Roller Hawks.

Narrowly missing selection for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Shawn helped lead the Rollers to victory at the 2015 IWBF Asian Oceania Zonal Championship to qualify for Rio.

Shockingly, at Rio 2016 the Rollers were eliminated from gold medal contention in a 23-point loss to Great Britain in the quarter finals.

Farmborough Heights local Shawn is inspired by …

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Date of birth
15 June 1987
Wheelchair basketball
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Right through-knee limb loss
How acquired
Amputation due to congenital limb deficiency
Farmborough Heights, NSW
Payroll officer
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning two NWBL Championships with the Wollongong Roller Hawks

Greatest sporting moments

The Rollers winning the 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Incheon, South Korea

Heroes/role models

His dad and Troy Sachs


  • Sport: Wheelchair basketball Classification: 4.0

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