Preparing for state trials - (L) Emerald Wilmshurst, Henry Rider and Brayden Packer. Photo: Cody Fox
Preparing for state trials - (L) Emerald Wilmshurst, Henry Rider and Brayden Packer. Photo: Cody Fox

trio shoot for state

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: State team selection could become a reality for local wheelchair basketballers Braydon Packer, Emerald Wilmshurst and Henry Rider.

The three Fraser Coast Spinners have been selected in an extended Queensland under-23 squad.

All three are part of the initial season of the Fraser Coast Spinners who were formed to create opportunities for local athletes.

They will be heading off to the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane next month for squad training.

They head to Ballarat in Victoria in April for the final selection contention for the Queensland Junior squad.

Youthful exuberance and have a go was the attitude of the three teenage wheelchair basketball players going up against some of the state’s best competitors.

“I reckon we have a fair chance of getting selected and we are excited and look forward to it,” Packer said.

The three Maryborough players have been under the watchful eye of coach Michael Oxley to help them prepare for the state selection tournaments.

“They have been going up and down the court training with and against each other and going through drill and skills exercises to help get them ready,” Oxley said.

“Whether they get selected or not, it’s still an important experience for the players to have a positive attitude and good sportsmanship with each other.”

Coach Oxley also said it was about getting the players to help overcome and extend their capabilities and physical challenges.

Wheelchair basketball is a reverse inclusion sport that has a points system to ensure both teams are on a level playing field.

For Rider this was not his first selection opportunity and had been selected for state several times.

“I was selected for state last year and went to Townsville for the Nationals,” Rider said.

He also had some great advice for the two rookies in the team competing for the first time.

“Work hard, keep trying and don’t give up on yourself and believe you can make the team,” he said.



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