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June 29, 2014

Canada wins 2014 Women\’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship

Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

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Team Canada realizes it has won
Image: Hawkeye7.

Team Canada realizes it has won
Image: Hawkeye7.

Maureen Orchard presents the winner’s trophy to Canada’s Janet McLachlan and Katie Harnock
Image: Hawkeye7.

Gold medal match. Germany’s Annika Zeyen and Canada’s Cindy Ouellet
Image: Hawkeye7.

Gold medal match. Canada’s Janet McLachlan
Image: Hawkeye7.

Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, Canada — Canada has won the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, defeating Germany 54–50 in the gold medal match yesterday afternoon. The game was a close one, which was decided in an exciting finish involving a series of missed shots and turnovers by both sides.

The Netherlands won the bronze medal game, defeating the United States 74–58. The score belied the closeness of the game. The Netherlands only pulled ahead in the third quarter. Attempts to gain extra time by sending the Netherlands to the free throw line in the closing minutes increased the margin to twenty points at one stage.

In her closing remarks, Maureen Orchard, the President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, said the completion webcast had been watched by 68,000 people in 68 countries.



Sources[]

  • Courtney Pollock. “Schedule & Results” — Wheelchair Basketball Canada, June 28, 2014 (access date)
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June 28, 2014

Germany and Canada into 2014 Women\’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final

Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

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Team USA braces for action in the semifinal against Germany
Image: Hawkeye7.

Canada’s Katie Harnock
Image: Hawkeye7.

Germany’s Simone Kues
Image: Hawkeye7.

Australian Glider Amber Merritt
Image: Hawkeye7.

Team Germany in the match against the USA
Image: Hawkeye7.

Team Netherlands in the semifinal against Canada
Image: Hawkeye7.

Canada’s Tim Frick is commentator on the webcast
Image: Hawkeye7.

The Mattamy Athletic Centre venue
Image: Neal Jennings.

Opening Ceremony
Image: Hawkeye7.

Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, CanadaGermany defeated the United States and Canada defeated the Netherlands yesterday in the semifinals of the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Canada. Canada is now to meet Germany in the final this afternoon, immediately after the match between the United States and the Netherlands for the bronze medal.

Up until this point, the Netherlands has been undefeated. It led at every change, but the Canadian team persevered, represented on the court for most of the match by Tracey Furguson, Janet McLachlan, Cindy Ouellet, Katie Harnock and Jamey Jewells. In the final quarter, Canada pulled away. Two three-point field goals from the Netherlands’ Inge Huitzing nearly leveled the score. The Netherlands was able to pull ahead, but Team Canada managed to get a point in front when the siren sounded, for a final score of 74–75.

The second semifinal between Germany and the United States was an equally close affair, with the two sides neck and neck for most of the match, with the lead changing several times. The crowd was small, but vocal, and Wikinews was told by the German media that some 2,000 viewers in Germany had stayed up late to watch the match live via the webcast. Scores were tied at 46-all at three quarter time, but Germany’s Marina Mohnen, Gesche Schünemann and Mareike Adermann managed to build a six-point lead with less than four minutes to go, despite having no answer to the United States’ Rose Hollermann. The United States tried repeatedly sending Schünemann, Annika Zeyen and Simone Kues to the free throw line, only to find their shooting to be very accurate. When the siren sounded, Germany had won, 68–58.

In the consolation match preceding the Netherlands-Canada game, Australia defeated China. The Australian Gliders will play Great Britain tomorrow for fifth place.



Related news

  • “Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals” — Wikinews, June 27, 2014

Sources

  • Courtney Pollock. “Schedule & Results” — Wheelchair Basketball Canada, June 27, 2014 (access date)
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June 27, 2014

Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women\’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals

Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals

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Friday, June 27, 2014

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Team USA huddled before a game at the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
Image: Hawkeye7.

Yesterday in Toronto, Canada at the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship, four teams qualified for the semi-final rounds. The teams still in the running to win the competition are Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States.

Germany qualified after defeating France 70–25. Mareike Adermann from Germany was named the player of the match. The Netherlands earned their spot after beating China 62–52. Dutch player Inge Huitzing was named the player of the match.

Janet McLachlan at the 2014 World Championships
Image: Hawkeye7.

Canada was the third team to reserve their spot in the semi-finals after beating Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team 63–47. Cindy Ouellet of Canada was named the player of the match. Only four players scored for Canada: Ouellet led with 20 points, Janet McLachlan and Katie Harnock both scored 17, and Tracey Ferguson scored 9 points. Sarah Strewart led the Australian team in scoring with 12 points. Neither team made a three-point shot. Australia gave Canada ten attempts to make free throws, with Canada capitalizing on this to score 7 points. In contrast, Canada only gave the Australians one trip to the free throw line, with Amber Merritt scoring on the team’s only attempt.

The United States booked the last spot in the semi-finals after defeating Great Britain 53–41. The United States’ Gail Gaeng was named the player of the match. The team took an early 6–0 lead. While Helen Freeman and Louise Sugden were able to score for Great Britain, the first quarter ended 13–8 in favor of the US. Great Britain was able to get within three points early in the second quarter, but were never able to get closer to Team USA, despite managing again to pull within three points during the third period. The United States pulled ahead early in the fourth period by 12 points. Rebecca Murray and Gail Gaeng led the USA team in scoring with 15 points each.

In other matches played yesterday, Brazil won the eleventh place match after defeating Peru 88–8. Japan finished in ninth place after beating Mexico 68–40.

In semifinal play, Canada is scheduled to play the Netherlands today, and the United States is to take on Germany. France plays Great Britain, and China is to compete against Australia in consolidation match play.



Related news

  • “Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships” — Wikinews, June 25, 2014

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June 25, 2014

Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships

Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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Animoto at last year’s Asia-Oceania championship
Image: Matthew Wells.

With five days of competition complete as of last night, Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at the Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship taking place in Toronto, Canada. She scored 122 total points, 7 more than the second highest leading scorer, Canadian Janet McLachlan.

The 4.5 point player Amimoto, who plays club basketball in Australia, led her team in scoring with 18 in their opener against Canada, which they lost 83–53. In her team’s 61–55 loss to China, she again led her team in scoring with 22 points. In her third game in pool play, a 48–62 loss to Great Britain, she again led her team in scoring with 25 points. In her team’s only win in pool play, she scored 37 points against Brazil in a game they won 63–52. In the final game of pool play, she scored 20 points, leading her team in scoring in their 82–49 loss to Germany.

Amimoto matched up against British player Helen Freeman, another leading scorer in the tournament, in her game against Great Britain. Freeman held back Amimoto’s game after Japan took a very an early lead 4–2.

On her personal blog, Amimoto thanked people for their continued support((jp)) and said she was excited to be playing in the ninth place match against Mexico, and it is a game she really wants to win.((jp))

Overall in the competition, 126 players have scored at least two total points. Canada is the only nation with more than one player amongst the top ten scorers. Their second leading scorer is Katie Harnock, with 75 points so far. Other players in the top ten include USA player Rebecca Murray with 105 points, Dutch Mariska Beijer with 101 points, Chinese player Yong Qing Fu with 99 points, Mexican player Floralia Estrada with 96 points, British player Helen Freeman with 89 points, German player Marina Mohnen with 88 points, and French player Angelique Pichon with 76 points.

Round robin play concluded yesterday, with France, Germany, China, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States all having qualified to play in quarter-final matches scheduled for tomorrow. Japan was scheduled to play Mexico for ninth place, and Brazil was scheduled to play Peru for eleventh place.



Sources

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January 3, 2014

Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie

Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie

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Friday, January 3, 2014

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Preston, Victoria, Australia — On Saturday, Wikinews interviewed Tina McKenzie, a former member of the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders. McKenzie, a silver and bronze Paralympic medalist in wheelchair basketball, retired from the game after the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. Wikinews caught up with her in a cafe in the leafy Melbourne suburb of Preston.

Tina McKenzie
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee.

Tina McKenzie: [The Spitfire Tournament in Canada] was a really good tournament actually. It was a tournament that I wish we’d actually gone back to more often.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Who plays in that one?

Tina McKenzie: It’s quite a large Canadian tournament, and so we went as the Gliders team. So we were trying to get as many international games as possible. ‘Cause that’s one of our problems really, to compete. It costs us so much money to for us to travel overseas and to compete internationally. And so we can compete against each other all the time within Australia but we really need to be able to…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It’s not the same.

Tina McKenzie: No, it’s really not, so it’s really important to be able to get as a many international trips throughout the year to continue our improvement. Also see where all the other teams are at as well. But yes, Spitfire was good. We took quite a few new girls over there back then in 2005, leading into the World Cup in the Netherlands.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Was that the one where you were the captain of the team, in 2005? Or was that a later one?

Tina McKenzie: No, I captained in 2010. So 2009, 2010 World Cup. And then I had a bit of some time off in 2011.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The Gliders have never won the World Championship.

Tina McKenzie: We always seem to have just a little bit of a chill out at the World Cup. I don’t know why. It’s really strange occurrence, over the years. 2002 World Cup, we won bronze. Then in 2006 we ended up fourth. It was one of the worst World Cups we’ve played actually. And then in 2010 we just… I don’t know what happened. We just didn’t play as well as we thought we would. Came fourth. But you know what? Fired us up for the actual Paralympics. So the World Cup is… it’s good to be able to do well at the World Cup, to be placed, but it also means that you get a really good opportunity to know where you’re at in that two year gap between the Paralympics. So you can come back home and revisit what you need to do and, you know, where the team’s at. And all that sort of stuff.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Unfortunately, they are talking about moving it so it will be on the year before the Paralympics.

Tina McKenzie: Oh really.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The competition from the [FIFA] World Cup and all.

Tina McKenzie: Right. Well, that would be sad.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png But anyway, it is on next year, in June. In Toronto, and they are playing at the Maple Leaf Gardens?

Tina McKenzie: Okay. I don’t know where that is.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I don’t know either!

Tina McKenzie: (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png We’ll find it. The team in Bangkok was pretty similar. There’s two — yourself and Amanda Carter — who have retired. Katie Hill wasn’t selected, but they had Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy back, so there was ten old players and only two new ones.

Tina McKenzie: Which is a good thing for the team. The new ones would have been Georgia [Inglis] and?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Caitlin de Wit.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah… Shelley Cronau didn’t get in?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png No, she’s missed out again.

Tina McKenzie: Interesting.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That doesn’t mean that she won’t make the team…

Tina McKenzie: You never know.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You never know until they finally announce it.

Tina McKenzie: You never know what happens. Injuries happen leading into… all types of things and so… you never know what the selection is like.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They said to me that they expected a couple of people to get sick in Bangkok. And they did.

Tina McKenzie: It’s pretty usual, yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They sort of budgeted for three players each from the men’s and women’s teams to be sick.

Tina McKenzie: Oh really? And that worked out?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yeah. I sort of took to counting the Gliders like sheep so I knew “Okay, we’ve only go ten, so who’s missing?”

Tina McKenzie: I heard Shelley got sick.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png She was sick the whole time. And Caitlin and Georgia were a bit off as well.

Tina McKenzie: It’s tough if you haven’t been to Asian countries as well, competing and…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The change of diet affects some people.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah. I remember when we went to Korea and…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When was that?

Tina McKenzie: Korea would have been qualifiers in two thousand and… just before China, so that would have been…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 2007 or 2008?

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, 2007. Maybe late, no, it might have been early 2007. It was a qualifier for — Beijing, I think actually. Anyway, we went and played China, China and Japan. And it was a really tough tournament on some of our really new girls. They really struggled with the food. They struggled with the environment that we were in. It wasn’t a clean as what they normally exist in. A lot of them were very grumpy. (laughs) It’s really hard when you’re so used to being in such a routine, and you know what you want to eat, and you’re into a tournament and all of a sudden your stomach or your body can’t take the food and you’re just living off rice, and that’s not great for anyone.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yeah, well, the men are going to Seoul for their world championship, while the women go to Toronto. And of course the next Paralympics is in Rio.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, I know.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It will be a very different climate and very different food.

Tina McKenzie: We all learn to adjust. I have over the years. I’ve been a vegetarian for the last thirteen years. Twelve years maybe. So you learn to actually take food with you. And you learn to adjust, knowing what environment you’re going in to, and what works for you. I have often carried around cans of red kidney beans. I know that I can put that in lettuce or in salad and get through with a bit of protein. And you know Sarah Stewart does a terrific job being a vegan, and managing the different areas and countries that we’ve been in to. Germany, for example, is highly dependent on the meat side of food, and I’m pretty sure I remember in Germany I lived on pasta and spaghetti. Tomato sauce. Yeah, that was it. (laughs) That’s alright. You just learn. I think its really hard for the new girls that come in to the team. It’s so overwhelming at the best of times anyway, and their nerves are really quite wracked I’d say, and that different travel environment is really hard. So I think the more experience they can get in traveling and playing internationally, the better off they’ll be for Rio.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png One of the things that struck me about the Australian team — I hadn’t seen the Gliders before London. It was an amazing experience seeing you guys come out on the court for the first time at the Marshmallow…

Tina McKenzie: (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It was probably all old hat to you guys. You’d been practicing for months. Certainly since Sydney in July.

Tina McKenzie: It was pretty amazing, yeah. I think it doesn’t really matter how many Paralympics you actually do, being able to come out on that court, wherever it is, it’s never dull. It’s always an amazing experience, and you feel quite honored, and really proud to be there and it still gives you a tingle in your stomach. It’s not like “oh, off I go. Bored of this.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Especially that last night there at the North Greenwich Arena. There were thirteen thousand people there. They opened up some extra parts of the stadium. I could not even see the top rows. They were in darkness.

Tina McKenzie: It’s an amazing sport to come and watch, and its an amazing sport to play. It’s a good spectator sport I think. People should come and see especially the girls playing. It’s quite tough. And I was talking to someone yesterday and it was like “Oh I don’t know how you play that! You know, it’s so rough. You must get so hurt.” It’s great! Excellent, you know? Brilliant game that teaches you lots of strategies. And you can actually take all those strategies off the court and into your life as well. So it teaches you a lot of discipline, a lot of structure and… it’s a big thing. It’s not just about being on the court and throwing a ball around.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When I saw you last you were in Sydney and you said you were moving down to Melbourne. Why was that?

Tina McKenzie: To move to Melbourne? My mum’s down here. And I lived here for sixteen years or something.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I know you lived here for a long time, but you moved up to Sydney. Did your teacher’s degree up there.

Tina McKenzie: I moved to Sydney to go to uni, and Macquarie University were amazing in the support that they actually gave me. Being able to study and play basketball internationally, the scholarship really helped me out. And you know, it wasn’t just about the scholarship. It was.. Deidre Anderson was incredible. She’s actually from Melbourne as well, but her support emotionally and “How are you doing?” when she’d run into you and was always very good at reading people… where they’re at. She totally understands at the levels of playing at national level and international level and so it wasn’t just about Macquarie supporting me financially, it was about them supporting me the whole way through. And that was how I got through my degree, and was able to play at that level for such a long time.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you like teaching?

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, I do. Yeah, I do. I’m still waiting on my transfer at the moment from New South Wales to Victoria, but teaching’s good. It’s really nice to be able to spend some time with kids and I think its really important for kids to be actually around people with disabilities to actually normalize us a little bit and not be so profound about meeting someone that looks a little bit different. And if I can do that at a young age in primary school and let them see that life’s pretty normal for me, then I think that’s a really important lesson.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You retired just after the Paralympics.

Tina McKenzie: I did. Yeah. Actually, it took me quite a long time to decide to do that. I actually traveled after London. So I backpacked around… I went to the USA and then to Europe. And I spent a lot of time traveling and seeing amazing new things, and spending time by myself, and reflecting on… So yes, I got to spend quite a bit of time reflecting on my career and where I wanted to go.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Your basketball career or your teaching career?

Tina McKenzie: All the above. Yeah. Everything realistically. And I think it was a really important time for me to sort of decide sort of where I wanted to go in myself. I’d spent sixteen years with the Gliders. So that’s a long time to be around the Gliders apparently.

Tina McKenzie (No. 8, at right) listens to the Australian national anthem prior to the match against the United States at the 2012 Summer Paralympics
Image: Laura Hale.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When did you join them for the first time?

Tina McKenzie: I think it was ’89? No, no, no, sorry, no, no, no, ’98. We’ll say 1998. Yeah, 1998 was my first tournament, against USA. So we played USA up in New South Wales in the Energy Australia tour. So we traveled the coast. Played up at Terrigal. It was a pretty amazing experience, being my first time playing for Australia and it was just a friendly competition so… Long time ago. And that was leading into 2000, into the big Sydney Olympics. That was the beginning of an amazing journey realistically. But going back to why I retired, or thinking about retiring, I think when I came home I decided to spend a little bit more time with mum. Cause we’d actually lost my dad. He passed away two years ago. He got really sick after I came back from World Cup, in 2011, late 2010, he was really unwell, so I spent a lot of time down here. I actually had a couple of months off from the Gliders because I needed to deal with the family. And I think that it was really good to be able to get back and get on the team and… I love playing basketball but after being away, and I’ve done three Paralympics, I’ve been up for four campaigns, I think its time now to actually take a step backwards and… Well not backwards… take a step out of it and spend quality time with mum and quality time with people that have supported me throughout the years of me not being around home but floating back in and floating out again and its a really… it’s a nice time for me to be able to also take on my teaching career and trying to teach and train and work full time is really hard work and I think its also time for quite a few of the new girls to actually step up and we’ve got quite a few… You’ve got Caitlin, and you’ve got Katie and you’ve got Shelley and Georgia. There’s quite a few nice girls coming through that will fit really well into the team and it’s a great opportunity for me to go. It’s my time now. See where they go with that, and retire from the Gliders. It was a hard decision. Not an easy decision to retire. I definitely miss it. But I think now I’d rather focus on maybe helping out at the foundation level of starting recruitment and building up a recruiting side in Melbourne and getting new girls to come along and play basketball. People with… doesn’t even have to be girls but just trying to re-feed our foundation level of basketball, and if I can do that now I think that’s still giving towards the Gliders and Rollers eventually. That would be really nice. Just about re-focusing. I don’t want to completely leave basketball. I’d still like to be part of it. Looking to the development side of things and maybe have a little bit more input in that area would be really nice though. Give back the skills I’ve been taught over the years and be a bit of an educator in that area I think would be nice. It’s really hard when you’re at that international level to… you’re so time poor that it’s really hard to be able to focus on all that recruitment and be able to give out skill days when you’re actually trying to focus on improving yourself. So now I’ve got that time that I could actually do that. Be a little bit more involved in mentoring maybe, something like that. Yeah, that’s what I’d like to do.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That would be good.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah! That would be great, actually. So I’ve just been put on the board of Disability Sport and Recreation, which is the old Wheelchair Sports Victoria. So that’s been a nice beginning move. Seeing where all the sports are at, and what we’re actually facilitating in Victoria, considering I’ve been away from Victoria for so long. It’s nice to know where they’re all at.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where are they all at?

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, dunno. They’re not very far at all. Victoria… I think Victoria is really struggling in the basketball world. Yeah, I think there’s a bit of a struggle. Back in the day… back in those old times, where Victoria would be running local comps. We’d have an A grade and a B grade on a Thursday night, and we’d have twelve teams in A grade and B grade playing wheelchair basketball. That’s a huge amount of people playing and when you started in B grade you’d be hoping that you came around and someone from A grade would ask you to come and play. So it was a really nice way to build your basketball skills up and get to know that community. And I think its really important to have a community, people that you actually feel comfortable and safe around. I don’t want to say it’s a community of disabled people. It’s actually…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It’s not really because…

Tina McKenzie: Well, it’s not. The community’s massive. It’s not just someone being in a chair. You’ve got your referees, you’ve got people that are coming along to support you. And it’s a beautiful community. I always remember Liesl calling it a family, and it’s like a family so… and it’s not just Australia-based. It’s international. It’s quite incredible. It’s really lovely. But it’s about providing that community for new players to come through. And you know, not every player that comes through to play basketball wants to be a Paralympian. So its about actually providing sport, opportunities for people to be physically active. And if they do want to compete for Australia and they’re good enough, well then we support that. But I think it’s really hard in the female side of things. There’s not as many females with a disability.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yeah, they kept on pointing that out…

Tina McKenzie: It’s really hard, but I think one of the other things is that we also need to be able to get the sport out there into the general community. And it’s not just about having a disability, it’s about coming along and playing with your mate that might be classifiable or an ex-basketball player. Like I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she’s six foot two…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Sounds like a basketball player already.

Tina McKenzie: She’s been a basketball player, an AB basketball player for years. Grew up playing over in Adelaide, and her knee is so bad that she can’t run anymore, and she can’t cycle, but yet wants to be physically active, and I’m like “Oooh, you can come along and play wheelchair basketball” and she’s like “I didn’t even think that I could do that!” So it’s about promoting. It not that you actually have to be full time in the chair, or being someone with an amputation or other congenitals like a spinal disability, it’s wear and tear on people’s bodies and such.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Something I noticed in the crowd in London. People seemed to think that they were in the chair all the time and were surprised when most of the Rollers got up out of their chairs at the end of the game.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Disability is a very complicated thing.

Tina McKenzie: It is, yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I was surprised myself at people who were always in a chair, but yet can wiggle their toes.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, it’s the preconceived thing, like if you see someone in a chair, a lot of people just think that nothing works, but in hindsight there are so many varying levels of disability. Some people don’t need to be in a chair all the time, sometimes they need to be in it occasionally. Yeah, it’s kind of a hard thing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Also talking to the classifiers and they mentioned the people playing [wheelchair] basketball who have no disability at all but are important to the different teams, that carry their bags and stuff.

Tina McKenzie: So important, yeah. It’s the support network and I think that when we started developing Women’s National League to start in 2000, one of the models that we took that off was the Canadian Women’s National League. They run an amazing national league with huge amounts of able bodied women coming in and playing it, and they travel all over Canada [playing] against each other and they do have a round robin in certain areas like our Women’s National League as well but it’s so popular over there that it’s hard to get on the team. They have a certain amount of women with disabilities and then other able bodied women that just want to come along and play because they see it as a really great sport. And that’s how we tried to model our Women’s National League off. It’s about getting many women just to play sport, realistically.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Getting women to play sport, whether disabled or not, is another story. And there seems to be a reluctance amongst women to participate in sports, particularly sports that they regard as being men’s sports.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, a masculine sport.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They would much rather play a sport that is a women’s sport.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, it’s really hard. I think it’s about just encouraging people, communicating, having a really nice welcoming, come and try day. We run a… like Sarah [Stewart] actually this yeah will be running the women’s festival of sport, which is on the 30th of January. And that’s an amazing tournament. That actually started from club championship days, where we used to run club championships. And then the club championships then used to feed in to our Women’s National League. Club championships used to about getting as many women to come along and play whether they’re AB or have a disability. It’s just about participation. It’ll be a really fun weekend. And it’s a pretty easy weekend for some of us.

Tina McKenzie (No. 8, at right) on the court in the quarter final against Mexico
Image: Laura Hale.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where is it?

Tina McKenzie: Next year, in 2014, it’ll be January the 30th at Narrabeen. We hold it every year. And last year we got the goalball girls to come along and play. So we had half of the goalball girls come and play for the weekend and they had an absolute brilliant time. Finding young girls that are walking down the street that just want to come and play sport. Or they have a friend at high school that has a disability. And it’s just about having a nice weekend, meeting other people that have disabilities or not have disabilities and just playing together. It’s a brilliant weekend. And every year we always have new faces come along and we hope that those new faces stay around and enjoy the weekend. Because it’s no so highly competitive, it’s just about just playing. Like last year I brought three or four friends of mine, flew up from Melbourne, ABs, just to come along and play. It was really nice that I had the opportunity to play a game of basketball with the friends that I hang out with. Which was really nice. So the sport’s not just Paralympics.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How does Victoria compare with New South Wales?

Tina McKenzie: Oh, that’s a thing to ask! (laughs) Look I think both states go in highs and lows, in different things. I think all the policies that have been changing in who’s supporting who and… like, Wheelchair Sports New South Wales do a good job at supporting the basketball community. Of course, there’s always a willingness for more money to come in but they run a fairly good support and so does the New South Wales Institute of Sport. It’s definitely gotten better since I first started up there. And then, it’s really hard to compare because both states do things very differently. Yeah, really differently and I always remember being in Victoria… I dunno when that was… in early 2000. New South Wales had an amazing program. It seemed so much more supportive than what we had down here in Victoria. But then even going to New South Wales and seeing the program that they have up there, it wasn’t as brilliant as… the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, cause there there good things and there were weren’t so great things about the both programs in Victoria and in New South Wales so… The VIS [Victorian Institute of Sport] do some great support with some of the athletes down here, and NSWIS [New South Wales Instituted of Sport] are building and improving and I know their program’s changed quite a lot now with Tom [Kyle] and Ben [Osborne] being involved with NSWIS so I can’t really give feedback on how that program’s running but in short I know that when NSWIS employed Ben Osborne to come along and actually coach us as a basketball individual and as in group sessions it was the best thing that they ever did. Like, it was so good to be able to have one coach to actually go and go we do an individual session or when are you running group sessions and it just helped me. It helped you train. It was just a really… it was beneficial. Whereas Victoria don’t have that at the moment. So both states struggle some days. I mean, back in 2000 Victoria had six or seven Gliders players, and then New South Wales had as many, and then it kind of does a big swap. It depends on what the state infrastructure is, what the support network is, and how local comps are running, how the national league’s running, and it’s about numbers. It’s all about numbers.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png At the moment you’ll notice a large contingent of Gliders from Western Australia.

Tina McKenzie: Yes, yes, I have seen that, yeah. And that’s good because its… what happens is, someone comes along in either state, or wherever it may be, and they’re hugely passionate about building and improving that side of things and they have the time to give to it, and that’s what’s happened in WA [Western Australia]. Which has been great. Ben Ettridge has been amazing, and so has John. And then in New South Wales you have Gerry driving that years ago. Gerry has always been a hugely passionate man about improving numbers, about participation, and individuals’ improvement, you know? So he’s been quite a passionate man about making sure people are improving individually. And you know, Gerry Hewson’s been quite a driver of wheelchair basketball in New South Wales. He’s been an important factor, I think.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The news recently has been Basketball Australia taking over the running of things. The Gliders now have a full time coach.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, which is fantastic! That’s exciting. It’s a good professional move, you know? It’s nice to actually know that that’s what’s happening and I think that only will lead to improvement of all the girls, and the Gliders may go from one level up to the next level which is fantastic so… and Tom sounds like a great man so I really hope that he enjoys himself.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’m sure he is.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, I’ve done some work with Tom. He’s a good guy.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you do some work with him?

Tina McKenzie: Ah, well, no, I just went up to Brisbane a couple of times and did some development days. Played in one of their Australia Day tournaments with some of the developing girls that they have. We did a day camp leading into that. Went and did a bit of mentoring I guess. And it was nice to do that with Tom. That was a long time before Tom… I guess Tom had just started on the men’s team back them. He was very passionate about improving everyone, which he still is.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Watching the Gliders and the Rollers… with the Rollers, they can do it. With the Gliders… much more drama from the Gliders in London. For a time we didn’t even know if they were going to make the finals. Lost that game against Canada.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, that wasn’t a great game. No. It was pretty scary. But, you know, we always fight back. In true Gliders style. Seems to be… we don’t like to take the easy road, we like to take the hard road, sometimes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Apparently.

Tina McKenzie: It’s been a well-known thing. I don’t know why it is but it just seems to happen that way.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You said you played over 100 [international] games. By our count there was 176 before you went to London, plus two games there makes 178 international caps. Which is more than some teams that you played against put together.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, I thought I’d be up to nearly 200. Look, I think it’s an amazing thing to have that many games under your belt and the experience that’s gained me throughout the years, and you’ve got to be proud about it. Proud that I stayed in there and competed with one of the best teams in the world. I always believed that the Gliders can be the best in the world but…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You need to prove it.

Tina McKenzie: Need to get there. Just a bit extra.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Before every game in London there was an announcement that at the World Championships and the Paralympics “they have never won”.

Tina McKenzie: No, no. I remember 2000 in Sydney, watching the girls play against Canada in 2000. Terrible game. Yet they were a brilliant team in 2000 as well. I think the Gliders have always had a great team. Just unfortunately, that last final game. We haven’t been able to get over that line yet.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You were in the final game in 2004.

Tina McKenzie: Yep, never forget that. It was an amazing game.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What was it like?

Tina McKenzie: I think we played our gold medal game against the USA the first game up. We knew that we had to beat USA that day, that morning. It was 8am in the morning, maybe 8:30 in the morning and it was one of the earliest games that we played and we’d been preparing for this game knowing that we had to beat USA to make sure that our crossovers would be okay, and knew that we’d sit in a really good position against the rest of the teams that we would most likely play. And I think that being my first ever Paralympic Games it was unforgettable. I think I’ll never, not forget it. The anticipation, adrenalin and excitement. And also being a little bit scared sometimes. It was really an amazing game. We did play really, really well. We beat America by maybe one point I think that day. So we played a tough, tough game. Then we went into the gold medal game… I just don’t think we had much left in our energy fuel. I think it was sort of… we knew that we had to get there but we just didn’t have enough to get over the line, and that was really unfortunate. And it was really sad. It was sad that we knew that we could actually beat America, but at the end of the day the best team wins.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The best team on the court on the day.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, absolutely. And that can change any day. It depends where your team’s at. What the ethos is like. and so it’s… Yeah, I don’t think you can actually say that every team’s gonna be on top every day, and it’s not always going to be that way. I’m hoping the Gliders will put it all together and be able to take that way through and get that little gold medal. That would be really nice. Love to see that happen.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’d like to see that happen. I’d really like to see them win. In Toronto, apparently, because the Canadian men are not in the thing, the Canadians are going to be focusing on their women’s team. They apparently didn’t take their best team and their men were knocked out by Columbia or Mexico or something like that.

Tina McKenzie: Wow.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And in the women’s competition there’s teams like Peru. But I remember in London that Gliders were wrong-footed by Brazil, a team that they had never faced before. Nearly lost that game.

Tina McKenzie: (laughs) Oh yes. Brazil were an unknown factor to us. So they were quite unknown. We’d done a bit of scouting but if you’ve never played someone before you get into an unknown situation. We knew that they’d be quite similar players to Mexico but you know what? Brazil had a great game. They had a brilliant game. We didn’t have a very good game at all. And it’s really hard going into a game that you know that you need to win unbeknown to what all these players can do. You can scout them as much as you want but it’s actually about being on court and playing them. That makes a huge difference. I think one of the things here in Australia is that we play each other so often. We play against each other so often in the Women’s National League. We know exactly what… I know that Shelley Chaplin is going to want to go right and close it up and Cobi Crispin is going to dive underneath the key and do a spin and get the ball. So you’ve actually… you know what these players want to do. I know that Kylie Gauci likes to double screen somewhere, and she’ll put it in, and its great to have that knowledge of what your players really like to do when you’re playing with them but going into a team like Brazil we knew a couple of the players, what they like to do but we had no idea what their speed was like or what their one-pointers were going to do. Who knows? So it was a bit of an unknown.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They’ll definitely be an interesting side when it comes to Rio.

Tina McKenzie: I think they’ll be quite good. And that happened with China. I’ll always remember seeing China when we were in Korea for the first time and going “Wow, these girls can hardly move a chair” but some of them could shoot, and they went from being very fresh players to going into China as quite a substantial team, and then yet again step it up again in London. And they’re a good team. I think its really important as not to underestimate any team at a Paralympics or at a World Cup. I mean, Netherlands have done that to us over and over again.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They’re a tough team too.

Tina McKenzie: They’re a really tough team and they’re really unpredictable sometimes. Sometimes when they’re on, they’re on. They’re tough. They’re really tough. And they’ve got a little bit of hunger in them now. Like, they’re really hungry to be the top team. And you can see that. And I remember seeing that in Germany, in Beijing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The Germans lost to the Americans in the final in Beijing.

Tina McKenzie: Yes. Yeah, they did.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And between 2008 and 2012 all they talked about was the US, and a rematch against the US. But of course when it came to London, they didn’t face the US at all, because you guys knocked the US out of the competition.

Tina McKenzie: Yeah, we did. It was great. A great game that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You won by a point.

Tina McKenzie: Fantastic. Oh my God I came. Still gives me heart palpitations.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It went down to a final shot. There was a chance that the Americans would win the thing with a shot after the siren. Well, a buzzer-beater.

Tina McKenzie: Tough game. Tough game. That’s why you go to the Paralympics. You have those tough, nail-biting games. You hope that at the end of the day that… Well, you always go in as a player knowing that you’ve done whatever you can do.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thankyou very much for this.

Tina McKenzie: That’s alright. No problems at all!



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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December 1, 2013

Australian men, women win 2013 Asia-Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Australian men, women win 2013 Asia-Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

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Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center, Bangkok — The Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Rollers, and the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, won gold medals on Friday, the final day of the Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. The eight day championship was opened on November 22.

Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships, Bangkok, 2013. IWBF President Maureen Orchard presents silver medals to the Chinese women’s team
Image: Hawkeye7.

Australian Gliders are addressed by their head coach, Tom Kyle
Image: Hawkeye7.

Maureen Orchard. President and Secretary General of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
Image: Hawkeye7.

Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships — Australia’s Amber Merritt
Image: Matthew Wells.

Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships — Japan’s Mari Animoto
Image: Matthew Wells.

Asia–Oceania Zone Wheelchair Basketball Championships — Australia’s Tristan Knowles
Image: Matthew Wells.

Ten countries competed for places at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) World Championships next year — ten in the men’s: Japan, Iran, China, Malaysia, Taipei, Australia, Korea, Kuwait, New Zealand and Thailand; and four in the women’s: Australia, Japan, China and Thailand. For the Australians, it was a rare opportunity to play teams from neighboring countries. Their efforts to help other teams were appreciated; after one game the Kuwait men led a cheer of “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” To which the Thai women replied: “Oi! Oi! Oi!”

Both the Australian teams went through the tournament undefeated. The Gliders defeated China in the gold medal game 57–35. The Rollers then took to the court and defeated Korea 63–46. Iran and Japan won the men’s and women’s bronze medal matches.

This was one of four zone championships. The zones correspond to those of the IPC and FIBA: Americas, Europe, Asia–Oceania and Africa. Each zone is guaranteed one place at the World Championships. Under recently-introduced rules, performance at the Paralympic games gains additional spots for the zone, not for the country. Only the home team is guaranteed a place.

The new zone system has already proved controversial, with Algeria defeating South Africa in the recent Africa Zone Championships in Angola to grab the sole spot allocated to Africa, and Canada missing out on one of the four men’s spots for the Americas zone. In a shock result, these places went to the United States, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia. Great Britain, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands are to round out the championships as the men’s teams from the European Zone.

The men’s World Championship are to be held in July next year in Incheon, South Korea, while the women’s are to be in Toronto, Canada. Maureen Orchard. President and Secretary General of the IWBF told Wikinews the women’s competition will in no way be inferior to the men’s. The women are to be put up in a five-star hotel, and play at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Without their men’s team competing, the women’s competition is expected to generate considerable interest in Canada. The home team is to be joined by teams from the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, France, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru to compete against the winners from the Asia–Oceania Zone.

The sport of wheelchair basketball has great popularity. In London, additional seats at the North Greenwich Arena sold out online within minutes.



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January 4, 2013

Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer Shelley Chaplin

Wikinews interviews Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer Shelley Chaplin

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Friday, January 4, 2013

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Portrait of Australian wheelchair basketballer Shelley Chaplin, 2012.
Image: Australian Paralympic Committee/Australian Sports Commission.

Recently, Wikinews spent time with with Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer Shelley Chaplin.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Interview with Shelley Chaplin. First of all, what position do you play?

Shelley Chaplin: Usually a point guard.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Right. And whenever I go to see the basketball in Canberra, we pass by a glass case. In the case is a guernsey with number twelve on it, and a big sign that says that this was the guernsey worn by Shelley Chaplin…

Shelley Chaplin: That’s me! That’s my…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It’s signed by the rest of the team, if you look — press your nose to the glass and look really close. How did that come to be there?

Shelley Chaplin: It’s actually the singlet that I wore in Beijing. Usually you get people to sign stuff. Anyway, the AIS just asked everybody if we would donate something […]. I wasn’t using it so, yeah, I gave them that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Oh okay.

Shelley Chaplin: I don’t think they have it… It’s been there for a while now. It think that was a four year loan or something like that.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I think it’s been there for longer than that.

Shelley Chaplin: It’s been there for longer than that. Or — it must be four years around about now. Went in just after Beijing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So they’ll return that to you?

Shelley Chaplin: They’ll return it at some point. I mean, I like it. It’s nice to have it there. It’s good that they have some stuff from wheelchair basketball there, and I don’t need it, so, yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you get into playing wheelchair basketball?

Shelley Chaplin: After the Atlanta Paralympics actually. There was a welcome home parade in Melbourne. So I never knew anything about wheelchair sports before that. And I went to the parade, and I used to walk around, but that day I used a wheelchair because I was really tired, and someone just approached me and said “Hey, do you know anything about wheelchair sports? You should get involved!” And, yeah, so I did! I tried everything, and I liked basketball the most.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you’re a three point player?

Shelley Chaplin: Three point five.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’d never seen the game before. My first experience of it was when the Gliders came out on the court for that first game [in London], and I was really taken with the sport from the word go. It has a sort of grace that normal basketball lacks. But otherwise it’s very similar.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah! I think people are often quite surprised by wheelchair basketball, what it is when they actually see it. I think the name “wheelchair” basketball means disability obviously, but when you watch it there’s nothing about disability to it at all. Just that we use wheelchairs, and that’s it. It’s just another sport.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png People in the press gallery were saying “I’ve just got to get out in a chair and…”

Shelley Chaplin: Try it! Yeah!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So how did you get to go to Illinois?

Shelley Chaplin: After the Athens Paralympics

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You won the bronze medal there?

Shelley Chaplin: No, we won silver in Athens…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Silver in Athens, bronze in Beijing.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, while I was over there I met one of the American girls, and she was about to take up a scholarship there. And so I ended up meeting the coach, who was in Athens coaching the Canadian men’s team. So I ended up meeting him, and chatting to him about maybe going over there, and then when I got home I followed it up, and they offered me a scholarship, so I took it. So he’d already seen me play at the Paralympics, and knew who I was, so it was good.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which lead to what we ran on the front page of Wikipedia.

Shelley Chaplin: Oh yeah! I saw that! That was great!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That’s why I rang up up and asked for your birth place. Somebody raised an objection, and said maybe she was born in the US.

Shelley Chaplin: Nope!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I thought that was pretty spectacular, because there’s not a lot of athletes in any sport that have done that [been All-American without being American].

Shelley Chaplin: Cool. Definitely cool.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did your team go while you were there?

Shelley Chaplin: While I was there we… I was there for five years. The first three years we were national champions.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png For five years from 2004 to 2009?

Shelley Chaplin: No, I didn’t actually go until 2005. So I went in August of 2005. And I finished up in May of 2010. I went to five national championships, and we won three and came runners up in two.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Wow!

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah! We had a good team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you said you played for a club here in Melbourne as well?

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, I play for the Dandenong Rangers here. We’ve just won two championships in a row. So… hopefully three this year.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Wow!

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah! It’s pretty cool.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That’s a pretty amazing record.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And then of course there’s the Gliders as well. You’ve got the gold… no wait…

Shelley Chaplin: No, not the gold! Not yet! Two silvers and a bronze!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I was sure you’d be saying “I’ve already got the silver and the bronze. Give me the gold!”

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, that’s exactly what I was saying! No, I think we just had a young team and…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Well, the team’s pretty much the same one as in Athens isn’t it?

Shelley Chaplin: No! There was probably only four players from Athens that were the same. We’ve got a lot of young players that are just sort of coming into their own in wheelchair basketball, so.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What I noticed was when I looked over the statistics of basketball over the time you’ve been playing, the scores have been going up.

Shelley Chaplin: Yes. I think that’s partly to do with that we changed to a size six ball, so we went to a women’s ball. Until 2006 we were still playing with a size seven, which is a men’s ball. So we changed that. I think that helped with our statistics, ’cause it’s easier for women to handle the ball and stuff like that. I also think there’s been a big increase in the professionalism of wheelchair basketball internationally, so you have a lot of people who are training every day for this. Whereas I know leading into Athens not everyone was training full time. But now everyone’s a full time athlete.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you are a full time athlete?

Shelley Chaplin: Yep, I was. Leading into London I was. So from halfway through 2011 till the Paralympics — so, probably a year — I was a full time athlete. So we trained three times a day, five days a week. Play on the weekends.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So you got a grant from the government?

Shelley Chaplin: Yep, the Australian Sports Commission supports us. And so does Basketball Australia obviously. […]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png That’s pretty intense though. Have you taken a break since then?

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, since London I haven’t played any basketball. Been doing a lot of different things.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Like what?

Shelley Chaplin: Just gotten into hand cycling actually.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Oh okay.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, so myself and one of my team mates, Leanne del Toso, who was in London as well, we have decided to do a fund raiser. So we’re going to ride around the perimeter of Fiji. And so it’s 550 kilometres in ten days. So I’m going to be on a hand cycle, and Leanne, who can walk, is going to be on a real bike. She has really weak legs. So we’re going to do that. Raise some money and awareness for women in sport.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Wow!

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, it’s really exciting.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When is that?

Shelley Chaplin: We go in June. But next month we’re going to launch a big fund raising campaign to get together all the money to do it all. But yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Shelley Chaplin’s guernsey on display at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Image: LauraHale.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you still with the basketball? Are you going to continue with that?

Shelley Chaplin: Yep! I do! So two weeks, no less than two weeks, the fourteenth of January, we go to the AIS for our first training camp of the Rio campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So I might be able to catch you guys again there.

Shelley Chaplin: From the fourteenth to the seventeenth.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It must have been disappointing in London — Let me put it like this: I’m watching the game, and it’s “oh no, they’re losing” but you don’t look like you’re losing. You look like you’re having the time of your life.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah! Definitely. I mean, what we play for is to play on the world stage and it is a lot of fun.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Did you see how many people were there was?

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, it was insane. In-sane.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I was staring up at the top and I could not see the top rows. They were completely in darkness.

Shelley Chaplin: There was so many people there, and they were all supporting us. It was so much fun. It was the best I’ve ever done. But yeah, of course it’s disappointing, because you don’t want to win silver, or lose gold, but…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The silver’s pretty good!

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, being second in the world’s pretty good, definitely, but silver’s tough.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It’s just that the Gliders have never won. They’ve never won the World Championship, they’ve never won at the Paralympics.

Shelley Chaplin: We’ve never won. Yeah, so obviously we wanted to change that. So yeah, definitely disappointing. We did what we were capable of. It wasn’t like we underperformed. We didn’t play badly. We just weren’t quite good enough.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yeah.

Shelley Chaplin: And the Germans were very good. They worked really hard.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Really good.

Shelley Chaplin: They were very good, so…

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You played pretty well.

Shelley Chaplin: We had patches where we didn’t play well, but that’s basketball.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The whole team needed to find something and lift, because like… we interviewed one of your team mates, and she we can’t expect to win if we’re shooting 39 per cent. Then of course you went ahead and won two games shooting 39 per cent, which sort of made a bit of a liar out of her…

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah, well our biggest strength was our defence, so if we can play the defence, we can.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The defence was where you won those games. You blocked them off. Particularly Mexico, they couldn’t… Canada was even better. You kept on forcing turnovers, forcing timeouts. That was the defensive game, was the way you won it.

Shelley Chaplin: Absolutely.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png But Germany had a good defensive game as well. It must have been good, playing on your birthday.

Shelley Chaplin: It was really cool. The whole team, the whole Australian Paralympic team wished me happy birthday, the whole crowd sang me happy birthday and this sort of stuff. It was pretty special, but once you get into it, it’s just another game. I know all the people were talking about the fact that it was my birthday, but it didn’t [get to me]. It was fun. It was fun. Not a bad place to have your birthday.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png So how do you compare London with Beijing and Athens?

Shelley Chaplin: Well, I think every games gets a little bit better anyway. Like, Beijing was better than Athens and I think London was a lot better than Beijing again. But I think the special thing about London is that it was British, and so they obviously support Australians, but we were just athletes to them, I think. Whereas in Beijing we were still disabled athletes. But in London we were just athletes and they loved our sport and they understood our sport, which was really cool. The crowds… it was amazing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png We have a lot of statistics on the response to it. Unfortunately, being in London I couldn’t see the TV coverage.

Shelley Chaplin: Back here the ABC did a fantastic job with us. Everybody knows about the Paralympics. Everybody saw something.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Apparently there was extra requests for the Gliders. So more people wanted to see you.

Shelley Chaplin: People like basketball. Basketball is very easy to relate to. Team sports are good to watch. But I think, like I was saying earlier, if you take away the wheelchair, there’s nothing to do with disabilities. If an able bodied jumped into a wheelchair, it’s exactly the same as us. Whereas an able bodied can’t run against someone with blades. You know?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yes.

Shelley Chaplin: So I think that’s why; it’s very relatable, and obviously it’s fun to watch.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png It seems be be getting bigger with each set of games.

Shelley Chaplin: Definitely.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png I’ve got figures from Google. London is twice as big.

Shelley Chaplin: Yep. Absolutely. The Paralympic movement is exciting because we’re all amateur athletes, and we’re all doing it because we love the sport. I think, during Beijing, I know in the Australian media they tried to get everyone to look away from our disabilities and look at us just as athletes, but I think in London they were like, here’s their disabilities, here’s what they are doing athletically, and combining the two, which made for amazing coverage, right? Cause everyone understood our disabilities but our sport as well.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Some of the things you were doing. The three point shot from a chair.

Shelley Chaplin: Yeah.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And the speed at which you moved at times, in excess of what someone without a chair could do. It’s just a fabulous sport.

Shelley Chaplin: I think so!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you’re definitely up for Rio as well?

Shelley Chaplin: Yep. Definitely. Obviously, it will be my fourth games and I was going to retire after London, but I’m still good enough to do it, and I’m young, I’m only only 28. So, yeah, I think I can play another games in me. The Paralympic movement as I was saying is so exciting right now. I can’t even imagine what Rio is going to be like. It’s going to be massive. Yeah, I want to be part of it. And representing your country is a big deal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Well I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks very much!

Shelley Chaplin: No worries!



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September 8, 2012

Gliders defeat USA in 2012 Paralympic semifinals

Gliders defeat USA in 2012 Paralympic semifinals

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories
  • 29 June 2014: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • 26 June 2014: Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships
  • 3 January 2014: Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie
  • 15 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font
  • 11 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

Gliders use defensive tactics to slow the USA down
Image: Laura Hale.

Australian supporters in the crowd wearing yellow Gliders T-shirts
Image: Laura Hale.

Merritt during a time out
Image: Laura Hale.

Gliders link arms for the national anthem
Image: Laura Hale.

Oops! An American goes down.
Image: Laura Hale.

Team USA have nice warm-up outfits
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England — The Australian women’s national wheelchair basketball team, the Gliders, defeated the USA Thursday in a 40–39 thriller at the North Greenwich Arena.

This semifinal victory advances the Gliders into the final, where they are to meet the winner of the day’s match between the Netherlands and Germany. They are guaranteed at least silver. The Gliders won silver in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004 and bronze in Beijing in 2008, but have never won the gold. The USA team is to meet the loser of that match to contest the bronze.

The Gliders’ quest for Paralympic gold medals began last week with a narrow 52–50 defeat of Brazil. The Aussies then crushed Great Britain 51–24. Australia had a loss to Canada 50–57, but bounced back to win against the Netherlands, 58–49. This advanced Australia to the quarter final, where the Gliders met and defeated Mexico 62–37.

Team USA started by defeating France 63–24 in its first game. It then lost to Germany, 54–48. It came back and defeated Mexico 67–33. Team USA came from 21 behind to defeat China in extra time, and played Canada and won in the quarter final 67–55.

The first quarter got off to an exciting start. USA had first possession and chalked up the first score. Kylie Gauchi responded quickly with a good shot, leveling the score. Then followed an exciting passage of play in which USA turned the ball over, but Clare Nott lost it on a bad pass. Shelly Chaplin then stole it back but Kylie Gauchi put it out of bounds. Clare Nott stole it back again, only to have Gauichi turn it over again. The USA took a shot at the basket from inside the paint, but missed. They then took a rebound and finally scored. A USA free throw extended their lead to 2–6. Thereafter both teams’ shooting was poor, and the score was only 10–12 at quarter time.

The second quarter started with Merritt scoring twice to give Australia the lead 14–12. A ferocious Australian defence saw USA’s style severely cramped, and they turned the ball over a number of times. They also took too long to move the ball forward. The crowd included the familiar block of Gliders fans in yellow T-shirts. They made their presence felt, chanting “Defence, Gliders, Defence!” whenever USA had the ball. Unfortunately, the Gliders’ poor shooting prevented them from fully capitalising on their superb defence, leaving the score tied at 26–26 at half time.

In the third quarter, an early goal by Kylie Gauchi from outside the paint gave the Gliders the lead. A series of steals gave the Gliders additional shots at goal, most of which missed, but USA had no answer to the Australian defence, with a series of timeouts and turnovers, and their shooting was even poorer. While the Australians relentlessly racked up point after point, taking a 32–26 lead, USA were unable to score at all until the last minute of the quarter. A hurried goal with seconds to go by Katie Hill saw the Gliders leading 38–28 at the last change.

In the fourth quarter, the Australian defence remained taut, but the shooting remained terrible. In the final accounting, Cobi Crispin only made 3 out of 10 shots, and Amber Merritt only 4 out of 16. The Glider’s most accurate shot turned out to be Clare Nott, who made four out of five attempts. Meanwhile, an increasingly desperate USA team pegged the Australians back to 40–39. Three timeouts were taken in the last minute. Fouls saw Merritt sent to the free throw line, but she missed both shots. The game went down to the last second, with USA missing a shot from inside the paint, before the shot clock ran out.



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September 6, 2012

Wikinews interviews Amber Merritt Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer

Wikinews interviews Amber Merritt Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketballer

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amber Merritt changing a wheel in the game against Mexico.
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England— Tuesday, following her team’s 62–37 win over Mexico in the quarter-finals at the North Greewich Arena, Wikinews interviewed Amber Merrit of the Australian women’s national wheelchair basketball team.

In their next match, the Gliders will face the victors from the United States versus Canada, having suffered their first loss of this year’s Games to Canada on Sunday night by seven points.

Interview transcript

Wikinews waves Left.pngLaura HaleWikinews waves Right.png I’m excited to see you in London, because you were so fantastic in that interview.

[Wikinews previously interviewed Merrit, and teammates in July. —Ed.]
Amber Merrit: Thank you.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Which state are you from?

AM: I’m from WA. [Western Australia —Ed.]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You wheel change! What was wrong with your wheel?

AM: I smashed out three spokes. Someone hit me, and I lost three spokes in my chair.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png was that because you were playing really aggressively against Mexico?

AM: Yeah, or they were playing really aggressive against us.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Watching that game it didn’t seem that they were playing that aggressive, in terms of they came in with set pieces; they weren’t doing the full-court press; they didn’t seem prepared for your offensive and defensive tenacity. Wikinews waves Left.pngHawkeye7Wikinews waves Right.png You kept on all holding them out, where they weren’t even getting across the centre line

AM: I think we have a really physical style of basketball where we’re going to press, and when we press we try to stop chairs and make sure they don’t get over that halfway line. They’re going to come out and play as hard as they can against us and sometimes there is that odd mishap where they might smash a few spokes cause they hit us. It happens.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You tipped a lot in previous games. You haven’t tipped so much in this series.

AM: No, I’ve managed to keep my balance this time. Or maybe they haven’t hit me hard enough to put me down on the floor.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Part of the appeal of wheelchair basketball, and I feel guilty admitting it, it watching you guys tip.

AM: And fall out. It’s embarrassing but I like it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’ve got your next game coming up, which is going to be against the winner of the United States or Canada later today

AM: We’re not 100% sure yet who that’s going to be.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Looking forward to meeting them?

AM: Yeah! Looking forward to coming up against them.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who would you prefer?

AM: I don’t know if I have a preference, to be honest. Whoever its going to be, we’re still going to go out there and play as hard as we can and take it to them as a team.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think you’ve been adequately prepared coming in to this, with your tournament in Sydney, your tournament in the Netherlands?

AM: Yeah, I think we’ve come in very well prepared for this tournament. We’ve been together for a while now as a team. Of course we had the Gliders and Rollers world challenge. We also went to Arnheim in the Netherlands for a pre-tournament, and we’ve trained together in Cardiff. And then after Cardiff we came in to London; so we’ve had that time together as a team and we’re doing really well.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Does that give you an advantage over other teams?

AM: I’m not sure, because I don’t know what other teams have been doing behind the scenes as their training.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much.

AM: No worries!



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September 5, 2012

Gliders move into the medal round with victory over Mexico

Gliders move into the medal round with victory over Mexico

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories
  • 29 June 2014: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • 26 June 2014: Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships
  • 3 January 2014: Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie
  • 15 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font
  • 11 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

London, England— A 62 points to 37 quarter-final win against Mexico on Tuesday night saw Australia‘s Gliders go forward into the medal round in front of a four-thousand-plus crowd at the Greenwich North Arena.

Mexico during the anthem
Image: Laura Hale.

Australia before the start of the game
Image: Laura Hale.

Mexico on the defence
Image: Laura Hale.

Players watch to see if the Mexican shot goes in
Image: Laura Hale.

Mexico during a time out
Image: Laura Hale.

A Mexican player gets up after getting tipped
Image: Laura Hale.

Gauci has the ball for Australia on the offense
Image: Laura Hale.

Merritt changing her wheel because of a spoke problem
Image: Laura Hale.

Winners of their group, Australia have never taken the gold in wheelchair basketball; their opponents, Mexico, were previously ranked ninth at the opening of the tournament, so making it thus-far boosts their ranking to eighth. They were, however, beaten by Australia 75 points to 45 in a pre-tournament warm up match.

Australia’s first shot at goal was taken by Bridie Kean, from the free throw line; but, she missed both shots. Mexico’s Lucia Vazquez Delgadillo then became the opened the scoring to give Mexico a two-point lead, their biggest of the entire game. Seconds later, Cobo Crispin had a shot from the paint, but missed; Kylie Gauci then finally put points on the scoreboard for the Gliders.

Mexico turned the ball over, and Cobi Crispin got her first from the paint, assisted by Kylie Gauci. This was repeated on the next play, with Sarah Stewart providing the assist. Mexico then scored, the Gliders responding with another shot from Cobi Crispin. On the next play, Kylie Gauci stole the ball and charged down the court, but failed to make the shot. Clare Nott took a defensive rebound, leading to Cobi Crispin scoring again. She was also fouled. but missed the resulting free throw. Shortly thereafter, Sarah Stewart took another foul, and made both shots to bring the score to 14 points to 4.

Mexico had great difficulty moving the ball up the court; suffering by timing out, or being forced into long shots that missed. But, when the same happened to the Gliders, Kylie Gauci, a two-point player, took a spectacular three point shot to take the score to 17 points to 8 in Australia’s favour. Mexico then managed to score again before Amber Merritt came on with only three minutes left in the quarter, and missed her first shot at goal. A second attempt, coming from a pass by Kylie Gauci, put more points on the scoreboard.

With only a few seconds remaining in the quarter, Kylie Gauci stole the ball and delivered it to Shelley Chaplin, who scored again. The two teams went into the quarter-time break with the score 21 points to 10.

In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Shelley Chaplin assisted Cobi Crispin, and then Amber Merritt, to add another four points. Attempting to respond, Mexico missed two shots before scoring then, on the next play, allowed Amanda Carter to steal the ball, which led to Amber Merritt scoring again.

Australia followed this up with steals by Cobi Crispin and Amber Merritt, giving Shelley Chaplin more scoring opportunities. Mexico scored twice; but, Australia responded each time, with goals by Amber Merritt and Amanda Carter, who was fouled, making her’s a three-point play. A steal led to a runaway break by Amber Merritt, bringing her contribution to ten points, and the score to 38 points to 16.

Mexico seemed unable to shake a pattern of turnovers and hasty shots, resulting in a 44 to 20 points difference at the half-time break.

In the third quarter, the Glider’s intensity dropped off; A timeout, and a series of missed shots by Katie Hill, Brodie Kean and Cobi Crispin, gave Mexico a chance to stage a minor recovery by outscoring Australia for the quarter by one point, leaving the score at 50 to 27 at the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter got off to an unimpressive start for both teams; Australia’s Leanne del Toso missed a shot at one end, and Mexico’s Floralia Estrada Bernal missed one at the the other. Sarah Stewart missed too before a Mexican turnover led to the first scoring of the quarter, by Sarah Stewart. Mexico’s Rocio Torres Lopez scored in response, another shot by Sarah Stewart missed; but, Amanda Carter took an offensive rebound, which eventually made it into the basket. Turnovers by Bridie Kean and Leanne del Toso led Mexico putting points on the board consecutively, but successive fouls sent Bridie Kean to the free throw line to score three points.

Amber Merritt brought the score to 59 points to 35 with her seventh scoring shot. By this point, Australia was deliberately running down the clock, passing the ball around, and taking shots at the last minute. This led to several missed shots by Sarah Vinci and Katie Hill, with Mexico unable to capitalise on the opportunities. Under intense Australian defensive pressure, Mexico missed shots and turned over the ball as-often as before. With nineteen seconds of play remaining, Katie Hill took a two point shot from inside the paint; attracting a foul, she scored another point from a free throw.

Although Mexico’s Wendy Garcia Amador scored the last two points of the game, the final score of 62 points to 37 meant the Mexican team’s Paralympic campaign was over.

Australia must now confront the winner of tonight’s United States versus Canada game on Thursday.



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