Preparations are in full swing for a major wheelchair basketball showcase to be held in the "spiritual heartland" of the sport, the Illawarra.
Shellharbour Sports Stadium and Berkeley's Illawarra Sports Stadium will be hives of activity this November as the Wheelchair Basketball Illawarra Festival is held over five days. The event, to be held from November 8-12, will feature a range of competitions and divisions for people of all ages and abilities, from amateurs through to the globe's best players.
Highlights will include the popular Slam Down Under - which features a mix of competitive and social matches - and a 3x3 tournament.
The festival is being held by the Wollongong Roller Hawks in conjunction with Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT. With the Roller Hawks dominating the National Wheelchair Basketball League - winning four titles between 2017 and 2022 - Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT chief executive officer Mick Garnett said the Illawarra was the obvious choice to host the festival.
"It's a really significant event on the calendar for both the Illawarra region and wheelchair basketball broadly. It's great to have it in the spiritual heartland of wheelchair basketball," Garnett said.
"The role of the Wollongong Roller Hawks in wheelchair basketball can't be understated, just because of their success at a national level. Winning many national championship means that young people grow up idolising these players, so to have the Wheelchair Basketball Illawarra Festival in this region - where the stars of wheelchair basketball live - is pretty special.
"The great thing about the Wheelchair Basketball Illawarra Festival is that there are all ages participating. We do have a masters competition, there's a 3x3 format, pretty much every aspect of the game of wheelchair basketball is on show over these five days."
Garnett encouraged all residents to come to the festival and learn more about wheelchair basketball.
"Not only will they see some of the best wheelchair basketballers in Australia and from around the world, they'll also see a wonderful spirit of sport - and that's what wheelchair basketball in NSW is really played with," he said.
"So we'll see young people playing alongside their heroes in an excellent five days of sport."
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