Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team

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IWBF Ranking 2nd
IWBF zone Asia Oceania
National federation Basketball Australia
Coach Tom Kyle since 2013[1]
Nickname(s) Gliders
Paralympic Games
Appearances 6
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World Championships
Medals Med 1.png: Med 2.png: Med 3.png:3
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Light jersey
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Team colours
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Dark jersey
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Team colours

The Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team is the women's wheelchair basketball side that represents Australia in international competitions. The team is known as the Gliders. The team hasn't won a gold medal for Australia since it began competing at the 1992 Summer Paralympics, however it has won either the silver or bronze medal since the 2000 Summer Paralympics held in Sydney, and is currently ranked 6th after the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.


Peter Corr, Head Coach of the Australian women's wheelchair basketball team, the Gliders, celebrates at 1996 Atlanta Paralympics

Women's wheelchair basketball was first played at the 1968 Summer Paralympics in Tel Aviv, but Australia did not have a team that competed until 1992 in Barcelona.[2]

The 1996 Summer Paralympics were the first Paralympics basketball tournament to feature the three-wheeled wheelchair. Most of the women on the Australian team opted to use the traditional four-wheeled wheelchair.[3]

Competition History[edit]

Prior to the start of the 1996 Paralympics, Australia was ranked third in the world after their bronze medal at the 1994 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship, behind first placed Canada and United States.[4][5] In lead up preparations for the games, the team toured Canada.[6] Australia's women's team beat the American team at the Paralympics in pool play. This was viewed as extremely significant by Australian women's wheelchair basketball fans and the Australian Paralympic Federation because the game was invented in America. Also, it was the first time that the Australian women had defeated the Americans. The match had even more significance because Australia needed to win it in order to stay in contention for a medal. Australia was down 21–16 at halftime. Australia went up with seven minutes left in the second half. The match finished with a score of 31–27 in Australia's favour. American Sharon Herbst was their team's start performer and she caused a number of problems for Australia's defence. During the game, several players were knocked out of their wheelchairs, including Australia's Melissa Ferrett.[4] The Americans challenged the win, protesting because they believed the Australians were not wearing matching uniforms.[7] Australia beat Brazil 67–8, beat the USA 31–27 and lost to Germany 34–26 in pool play.[3] They lost to Canada in the semi-finals, going down 31–36. They played the Americans in the bronze medal match, losing 30–41.[4] The team's top scorer in the competition was Liesl Tesch.[4]

Gliders playing the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics

In 1998, the team again won a bronze medal at the World Championships.[8] In April and May 1999, the team was invited by the Kinki Wheelchair Basketball Association and the Japanese Wheelchair Basketball Federation to compete in a tournament in Japan to celebrate twenty-five years of wheelchair basketball in that country. The Australian team won every game they competed in, including three test matches against the Japanese team. The last test was played before Japan's royalty, and Australia won 61-25. The team had an official team dinner with Emperor Akihito of Japan during this tour.[8]

The team won silver medals at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, with a bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships. Prior to the start of the 2008 Paralympics, the team was ranked fourth in the world. They received this rank by beating Japan and New Zealand in the qualifying tournament for the games.[9]

In 2008, the team competed in the Osaka Cup. They earned a silver medal, only losing to the United States in the final. The Gliders lost to the United States 20-52. After the Osaka Cup, the team competed in the Goodluck Beijing Test Event, where they won three matches and lost one against China. The team then competed in the Joseph F. Lyttle World Basketball Challenge, where they finished third. They then went to the United States and competed in the North America Cup, where they finished fourth. The team then went back to China where they played five matches against China, where they went undefeated.[9]

The Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team at the 2012 Summer Paralympics consisted of twelve included nine veterans with 15 Paralympic Games between them: Bridie Kean, Amanda Carter, Sarah Stewart, Tina McKenzie, Kylie Gauci, Katie Hill, Cobi Crispin, Clare Nott and Shelley Chaplin; and three newcomers: Amber Merritt, Sarah Vinci and Leanne Del Toso. The Gliders, who had won silver in the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, but had never won gold, finished at the top of their pool in the group stage of the competition with victories over Brazil, Great Britain and the Netherlands. They then went on to win in the quarter final against Mexico and the semi final against the United States, only to lose to Germany in the final.

Major Tournament Record[edit]

Performance in Paralympic Games[edit]

Performance in World Championships[edit]

  • 1990 -
  • 1994 - Bronze medal Paralympics.svg Bronze
  • 1998 - Bronze medal Paralympics.svg Bronze
  • 2002 - Bronze medal Paralympics.svg Bronze
  • 2006 - 4th
  • 2010 - 4th
  • 2014 - 6th

Past Paralympic Games Rosters[edit]

1992 Paralympic Games[edit]

1996 Paralaympic Games[edit]

2000 Paralaympic Games[edit]

Australian Women's Basketball Silver Medal Presentation at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics

2004 Paralaympic Games[edit]

2008 Paralympic Games[edit]

2012 Paralaympic Games[edit]

Past World Championship Rosters[edit]

1990 World Championships[edit]

1994 World Championships[edit]

1998 World Championships[edit]

2002 World Championships[edit]

2006 World Championships[edit]

2010 World Championships[edit]

2014 World Championships[edit]

Australian Gliders at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tom Kyle new Australian Gliders Head Coach". Basketball Australia News, 31 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Australian Paralympic Committee 2008, p. 52
  3. ^ a b Overington 1996a, p. 22
  4. ^ a b c d Overington 1996a, p. 21
  5. ^ "World Championships - Results". International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. 
  6. ^ a b Webster 1996, p. 6
  7. ^ Webster 1996, p. 8
  8. ^ a b Australian Paralympic Committee 1999, p. 16
  9. ^ a b Australian Paralympic Committee 2008, p. 53
  10. ^ Australian Team Members Profile Handbook. Sydney: Australian Paralympic Federation. 1992. 
  11. ^ "Paralympic Games History – Summer | APC Corporate". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  12. ^ a b c Australian Media Guide : 2000 Paralympic Games. Sydney: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2000. 
  13. ^ Media Guide : London 2012 Paralympic Games (PDF). Sydney: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2012. 
  14. ^ Annual Report 2006. Basketball Australia. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Gliders World Championship team named". Basketball Australia website. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "2014 Women's Wheelchair Basketball World Championship Media Guide" (PDF). Wheelchair Basketball Canada. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 


  • Australian Paralympic Committee (September 1999). "Basketball - Wheelchair Women". Annual Report - 1999 (Sydney, Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee). 
  • Australian Paralympic Committee (2008). "Basketball (Wheelchair)". Media Guide Beijing 2008 (Sydney, New South Wales: Australian Paralympic Committee). 
  • Australian Paralympic Federation (November 1992). "History in Madrid". LINK (Sydney, New South Wales: Australian Paralympic Federation). 
  • Overington, Caroline (1996a). "Basketballers beat the US at their own game". Golden days of Atlanta : Xth Paralympic Games Atlanta, Georgia, August 15–25, 1996 (Sydney: Australian Paralympic Federation): 21–23. OCLC 222120061. 
  • Webster, Jim (1996). "Success for superteam". Golden days of Atlanta : Xth Paralympic Games Atlanta, Georgia, August 15–25, 1996 (Sydney: Australian Paralympic Federation): 6–8. OCLC 222120061. 

External links[edit]