The National Junior Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Program is coming to Murgon in the South Burnett on Saturday 6th August, thanks to Suncoast Spinners Wheelchair Sports Club, which is working in partnership with Basketball Australia.
Suncoast Spinners South Burnett Wheelchair Basketball Coach Michael Oxley said the organisation was really excited about the opportunity the program would offer to wheelchair users as well as able-bodied players in the region.
The Program will include a private training session where 15-year-old Taylor Peterson from Kingaroy will train alongside Australian Under 25 Squad member Emerald Wilmshurst, from Maryborough, and they will link in via zoom for skills training with National Coaches including Australian Women’s Junior Head Coach Janna Mizens and young female players from around the country. After the program, the girls will also participate in Suncoast Spinners regular social wheelchair basketball program.
Mr Oxley said he had been coaching Emerald in Maryborough over the past few months as part of the Australian under 25s women’s development program.
“Bringing the program to Murgon means Taylor can also have access to specialised training and development outside the Spinners regular social program,” Mr Oxley said.
Janna Mizens said Saturday morning online training sessions had become the foundation of the 2022 National Junior Women’s Program.
“After a disappointment of a camp in late 2021 and early 2022 being cancelled, we decided to take matters into our own hands and meet weekly to work on foundational skills,” Ms Mizen said.
“During our one-hour sessions, girls work on their body movement in their basketball chairs, basketball handling and dribbling skills and conditioning. Personalised coaching from national staff each week has accelerated the development of the girls.
“Their effort and improvement have surpassed our expectations and has allowed us to develop even further as a group when we get together for camps. In addition to the girls developing their individual skills, the group has been able to connect as a group.
“This is important for all the girls as we are scattered across the country, but especially for those living in regional areas that would normally not see their teammates unless at a camp twice a year. It is an honour to connect and support young girls with disabilities around the country each week online,” Ms Mizens said.
Mr Oxley said the addition of live-online wheelchair basketball coaching developed during Covid has been a real game changer for young female wheelchair basketball players around the country.
“To have access to, and be seen by Australian Coaches, on a weekly basis increases regional and remote athletes’ development and team selection opportunities, providing athletes with more equal opportunities to athletes that live in the capital cities,” Mr Oxley said.
Suncoast Spinners Wheelchair Basketball Inc. is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit incorporated association which has operated on the Sunshine Coast for over 20 years. Starting as a group of friends who met weekly to play wheelchair basketball, the club has developed to deliver a weekly social program, school workshops, community events and an annual wheelchair basketball tournament, which attracts players from all over Australia.
Suncoast Spinners caters for physically disabled and able-bodied athletes in the sport of wheelchair basketball on the Sunshine Coast. The club developed a sporting initiative called Reverse Inclusion, where able-bodied players participate in sport that has traditionally been played by people with physical disabilities. This allows for a truly inclusive sport and recreation environment, where everyone is welcome.
Suncoast Spinners also supports wheelchair sports throughout Queensland including supporting programs in the South Burnett, Wide Bay and Moreton Bay.
For more information visit the Suncoast Spinners website – suncoastspinners.com.au – or visit them on Facebook @thespinners.