GLIDERS TO PLAY THEIR FIRST GAME IN THE NWBL
The Gliders, tonight, are creating history by being the first ever all-women’s team to compete in the elite men’s National Wheelchair Basketball League. The Gliders flew into Brisbane on Wednesday for their final preparations before they play their first of three games against the RSL Qld Spinning Bullets tonight.
Earlier today Tom Kyle, Gliders Head Coach, said, “We just finished up our final training session and the energy in the group is really upbeat. They are excited to be part of the NWBL and get on court.
With the entry of the Gliders, the 2015 season of the NWBL has seen the league expand with the inclusion of two new teams; Red Dust Heelers being the other.
Paul Maley, Basketball Australia’s General Manager of WNBL & Competitions, said, “The inclusion of two new teams in to the NWBL is a great result for our elite wheelchair programs, and for the development of the sport in general”.
Having the Gliders participate in the league means that it gives them the opportunity to play practise games and also gives points to the opposing men’s teams so the games are counted toward their final rankings in the league.
Tom Kyle said - “I think this is a real turning point in the women’s wheelchair basketball program to have the Gliders compete as their own team in the NWBL. It provides two fantastic benefits to the sport. The first being the opportunity for the women to represent their national team and gain playing experience together as a group. And the second being that it opens up more opportunities for men to play in the league which in turn should strengthen the men’s pathway and program.”
Looking for a long term commitment with the league, the Gliders feel that their participation in the NWBL will be great for the growth and development of the sport – for both the men and women’s programs.
And, when both the men’s and women’s national team coaches support this as a positive step on the road to Rio we know the sport is heading in the right direction. The increased competition on the court this year can only be a good thing for our aspiring Paralympians.
But for the Gliders in particular - It is a win-win and an exciting day for women’s wheelchair basketball!