With Australia recording their best performance in Olympic history, it’s now up to our Paralympians to return serve. The Paralympics is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of athletes with disability.
The sport of wheelchair basketball has become one of the flagship sports on the Paralympic program. Australia will be looking to continue their dominance in both the men and women’s wheelchair basketball competition. Led by their contingent of seven debutants and two-time Paralympians, Australia will be looking to add gold to their overflowing medal cabinet.
If you watch the wheelchair basketball competition during the Tokyo Paralympics broadcast, you might notice the rules for both variations of basketball are similar with small amendments made to the wheelchair basketball rules. For example, a traveling foul is called when a player takes more than two pushes without dribbling.
Our teams are hoping to repeat the success of Beijing Paralympics 2008, where our men took home the gold medal. I’m going to do my bit in cheering on our wheelchair basketball teams to bring home gold by donning my finest supporter gear every time they play, and maybe you can do that at home too.
Did you know?
Wheelchair basketball was developed by veterans who returned to the United States after war. These veterans adapted the rules of the game to enable the inclusion of players in wheelchairs. Australia is one of 80 countries that took up the sport since its inception. The sport has featured at every Paralympic competition since 1960. FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has adapted the game to accommodate wheelchairs and considers them a part of the body.
What’s in a name?
The team’s name indicates the variation of basketball they play. Have a look at the teams competing in the NBL and wheelchair NBL competitions to understand these differences. These differences were also considered when naming both the Olympic and Paralympic basketball teams. For example, our men’s wheelchair basketball team are called the Rollers, and Gliders is the name of our women’s team.
Sporting Wheelies offers Wheelchair basketball programs in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns for players of all ages and abilities. Programs are also available in Rockhampton and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.