11 January 2018
The Brisbane Bullets will need to aim high if they are going to beat a team of basketballers from the University of the Sunshine Coast in a ‘friendly’ match-up at Caloundra Indoor Stadium on Friday 12 January.
USC’s first sponsored ‘reverse inclusion’ wheelchair basketball game will feature Bullets players Tom Fullarton, Matt Kenyon and Will Magnay taking on some of the country’s finest wheelchair basketballers from USC.
The demonstration match is part of this year’s annual Suncoast Spinners weekend tournament, the largest club-based wheelchair basketball competition in Australia, sponsored by USC.
USC academic Bridie Kean – an Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketball dual medallist – came up with the idea for the ‘reverse inclusion’ game to highlight how players with and without disabilities could compete on a fairly equal playing field.
“It’s exciting that USC will be playing the Brisbane Bullets because an initiative starting at USC this year is having wheelchair basketball as a social sport for staff and students,” Ms Kean said.
While the Brisbane Bullets will be good at shooting the ball, Ms Kean suspects they might struggle with ‘out-of-the-way’ pushing.
“I think they’re going to find what we call having ‘chair skills’ challenging,” Ms Kean said.
The University’s representatives will include Australian wheelchair basketballers Steven Elliott and Hannah Dodd, both of whom are scholarship recipients through USC’s Sports Elite and Education Dual Stream (SEEDS) program.
James Hill, another SEEDS scholarship recipient, said he was excited to be a game official.
— Tom Snowdon