Strengthening the pathway opportunities for Victorian wheelchair basketball athletes, Basketball Victoria held its inaugural Wheelchair Basketball State Development Program (SDP) Camp.
The first camp tipped off at Bendigo Stadium last Saturday morning as Basketball Victoria added the newest pathway program catering to wheelchair basketball athletes.
This program runs in conjunction with our current SDP programs for able-bodied athletes to give all wheelchair basketball athletes elite opportunities within the current Victorian basketball system. The camp was held alongside the Country SDP/VNPP camp to highlight Basketball Victoria’s commitment to wheelchair basketball and creating further pathways for everyone.
The all-day camp had athletes from across Victoria enhancing their skills and learning what it takes to become elite Victorian basketball players. Athletes in the program will be able to improve their skills, gain high-level coaching and receive additional professional development.
Basketball Victoria’s Wheelchair Basketball SDP Lead/State Team Coach Jason Bryant alongside Wheelchair Basketball SDP coaches Ben Hodgens, Jontee Brown and Kim Hampton were part of the inaugural camp to teach players about high-calibre wheelchair basketball and to help them push for selection with the Victorian Kevin Coombs Cup team, which plays each year at the Australian Junior Championships, and beyond in years to come.
For Bryant, Basketball Victoria’s Wheelchair Basketball State Development Program represents an opportunity for wheelchair basketball athletes to high-calibre training and development and bring their development in line with able-bodied athletes.
“It went really well with the athletes we’ve had here, some of them we’ve had in the program for a few years hanging around the state team and others are new to it,” Bryant said. “I think the opportunities that they’ve been presented here as part of this program are fantastic.
“It’s so important that these guys get access to the same sorts of programs and just feeling part of the bigger program within Victoria.
“The fact that they’re in the same SDP uniforms, at the same camp, just that on its own for them as athletes makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger and want to go after it more.
“While we had a smaller group here, a larger number has signed up but had other commitments, one of the most positive things was the list of new names and new faces we’ve seen.
Wheelchair SDP athlete Jin Woodman, who had never been part of wheelchair basketball before, said he was excited to return for future camps and encourage others to register for it too.
“Being a part of it is a really fantastic thing because it’s my first time,” Woodman said. “Having new lessons and I think I’m going to take that and do that for other people who are inspired by basketball and maybe people will spread it too like I will.
“When the next camp is on I’ll come back.”
Our next Wheelchair Basketball SDP Camp will be Saturday 28 August at Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo.
To be eligible for the program in 2021, Wheelchair Basketball SDP athletes must be:
– 12 years or older at commencement of the SDP program on 1/5/2021
– Eligible to represent Victoria in the 2022 Kevin Coombs Cup as per age group and nationality rules (As per BV rules, to be eligible for State Team representation at KCC, athletes must be a minimum of 14 years of age – all other program activities are a minimum of 12 years of age)
– Maximum age in line with international IWBF junior age groups boys with under-23 (men) and under-25 (women). Men born on or after 1/1/2000 with women born on or after 1/1/1998
If you, your children or someone you know would be interested in taking part in our Wheelchair Basketball State Development Program fill in this form to register.
For further information about Victorian wheelchair basketball competitions and programs, please contact Sheena Atkin at email@example.com.