2011 U25 WWBC … This one is for the history books.

My hat is off to all those who made this event possible. Who would have thought the tournament could come and go so fast? Each person who watched, played, organized or volunteered at the event was left with an individual memory that they will be able to take with them forever.

It goes without saying that the level of play throughout this event was far superior to that of what the IWBF expected. Each was devoted to their team and sacrificed all that they had in order to achieve success. It is with great honour that I thank each athlete for their passion and persistence each time they took to the court.

The first ever Women’s Under 25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships established a lot of benchmarks that will continue to be embedded into the ongoing planning and organization of future world championships for this age category. Live Webcasts were seen in all participating countries – plus more! Local media in St. Catharines covered the event daily, and the sport introduced a lot of new comers to how passionate the game can be.

Brock University did a great job hosting the event, and I think everyone can agree that the gymnasium looked fabulous. We owe a lot of credit to the volunteers and team Ambassadors who came out every day, their enthusiasm and amazement of the sport makes its hard to believe they will ever lose interest. We also owe a lot of gratitude to the local organizing committee, whose tireless work berthed this historic event. From the Executive Director – to the Communications and Tournament Manager; their visions came together and lead this committee in the right direction.

It’s been a pleasure sharing my perspective on the tournament – both leading up and following. I wish all the athletes a healthy and prosperous career ahead of them, and thank you once again for being a part of history.

Until Next Time.

Push Your Limits. Push Your Perceptions. And Push Your Game.

U25 Bloggers from the Gold and Silver Medal Teams

Thank You to our Bloggers


Team USA – Gold Medalists

Gail Gaeng and Tournament MVP Desi Miller


Australia – Silver Medal

Bridie Kean and Amber Merritt

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT – U25 worlds are over – on to the next

The first-ever U25 World Championships are over. It’s been a very long week with many great but tough basketball games. I really enjoyed being part of this event, being able to share my experiences with younger players and also compete at a high level.

Unfortunately, Germany is not preparing youth players very well, so we had trouble performing well. Only a few of us had to do everything instead of all five players playing their role working together. Sometimes this works out but especially in close games it usually doesn’t. In the end, we can take home a great experience and hopefully there’ll be investments in our youth development soon!

Today, everyone is leaving St. Catherines. Most teams are heading home. Four of us have to stay in Toronto for a few days, before we continue with a training camp in Charlotte, USA. This camp is with the senior national team and followed by some games. To be honest, I’m glad we have a few days off first, I can really use some rest!

Safe travels to all those going home today, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT to all the followers of the games and this blog!!

U25 Tournament Wraps Up

The inaugural Under 25 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships has ended. In the past few months several of the athletes have taken time from their training and busy lives to share their experiences, ideas, thoughts and feelings as they prepared for these important championships.

This was the first ever blog for the IWBF and it was wonderful to have such participation from the athletes. These blogs have been viewed thousands of times. The posts have been informative, insightful, humorous and often though provoking. If you have not read them all you should. They tell the stories of a few young women striving to play their best, to represent their teams, countries, sport and themselves on a world stage.

All of the bloggers will be invited to continue blogging with the IWBF as we Push to London 2012 and future U25 Championship Tournaments.

Thank you bloggers and we look forward to your ongoing participation with the IWBF blogs.

 

The tournament results can be found on the IWBF website http://www.iwbf.org/ or the U25 Website http://www.u25wwbc.com/

 

 

Semi Finals Day

So this afternoon we take on USA to fight for a place in the
gold medal game tomorrow. Over the week we have come so far as a team and are really starting to click, we have had our high points and our knock backs but yesterday we played with heart to beat Germany in the quarters. Right now everyone is preparing for the game in their own way, some are chilling to some tunes, some are chatting to friends/relatives back home, some are sleeping because we all know that before we go to bed tonight we want to be able to look at our
reflections and say I was the best that I possibly could have been, I pushed myself to my limit then we will know no matter what the result that we could not have given the game anymore.

At this point the only preparation that we can do is mental,
we have to believe that our shots will fall and we will play to our potential after all our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…so now I’m off to get my swag on

Quarterfinals – It’s all or nothing

Today is the first day deciding about everything. It’s all or nothing. We win, we advance, we lose, we are out. GB is a tough competition but anything is possible in this game.

All that was background knowledge. As soon as we get out there on the court, all we have to do is play basketball. Nothing should affect us and we just need to play our game. I hope, us growing together on our day off yesterday, will help us to perform better as a team and stand side by side on the court while playing good basketball.

The game starts 11am EST. Watch live!

http://www.u25wwbc.com/u25-hub/watch-the-games-live/

Life as a Devil…

Life as a Devil.…is pretty good!

We’re now in Day 5 of what has been an amazing journey so far for the “Aussie Devils”. For those of you wondering where we adopted the name Aussie Devils, there is a bit of history. In Australia, our sporting teams are named after animals or symbols that are unique to being Australian. The Socceroos are named after our native animal the Kangaroo, we’ve got the wallabies, the Matildas, the Gliders and now we have the Aussie Devils, named after the Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanian Devil is quite a rare species and relatively small by nature, but is known for being feisty. They are found in the southern most part of Australia, Tasmania, which is the hometown of one of our players, Katherine Reed.

The Devils’ residence floor here at Brock University is a great place to be. It’s not only where we rest between games, but a place of much activity. There is always our tournament cd playing, basketball clips on the big screen being shown, fresh fruit from our amazing fan base being eaten and the screams from recovery ice baths being heard. We’ve settled in well at Brock.

We’ve had three games already in this tournament and for the Devils we have experienced a huge range of game situations in that time. We had a strong start on Day 1 leading against Great Britain to secure our first ‘W’. The next game proved to challenge us and we fought tough but went down to the US. Our game against Mexico was another tough battle and we were able to secure another win in the end. We are learning more and more with every game about what our strengths are and after a rest day we face Japan tomorrow at 1.15pm in the quarter finals.

Its amazing to have been receiving so much support from home! Although the time difference in Australia means that our game times are shown in the middle of the night much of the time, our friends and family at home have been able to access our games online through the U25 website… as well as hear the commentary from one of our very own Gliders, Shelley Chaplin! We’ve all had lots of support from our friends and family who have been able to follow us online!

Tournament Excitement

Well with two wins under our belt team USA goes head to head with Great Britain tonight…the excitement felt between all the teams before a game is electric. For team USA our first couple practices here were spent getting used to each other again after not being together for over a couple of months. But with each practice we grew more and more as a unit and we’ve really flourished as a team during our games.
U25 worlds is an event I will remember forever, everything from experiencing the South African’s sing and dance at our opening banquet, to the close call games that had everyone on edge, this tournament is in a class of its own.
Food has been good, beds have been hard ;) the sun has been shining and playing has been amazing!

Loss.

Nobody likes losing. Unfortunately, every game one team loses. Today, it was us. It’s frustrating when things don’t work out and you know you can do better but in the end it only counts what you actually did, so all these thoughts are just a waste of time. For us, this game didn’t change much. Pool A is very strong, so we have a tough quarterfinal coming up and still remain chances to advance no matter what. I’m looking forward to get a day rest but also can’t for more games to get another chance at performing well.

Important day…

Today, we play Canada to decide who gets to be first in our pool and have “easier” game in Quarterfinals.. It is an important game that decides about a lot but at the same time doesn’t change much.

We already played Canada in Germany a few weeks ago. At that time it was the first-ever time our team has been almost complete. We tried a lot of different line ups, had a few sick players. We started great but lost the game. We put in a lot of hard work and have gotten to know each other better. Thus, it should be a close game. As always, the better team may win. :-)

The game is at 1.15 pm EST! Watch it live on http://www.u25wwbc.com !!

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