The Australian national men’s and women’s wheelchair teams have appointed their coaching staff who will head their jam-packed 2022 campaigns.
The Rollers, Gliders and 3×3 para programs are preparing for a busy 2022 schedule, with several training and selection camps on the cards ahead of upcoming international events, including the World Cup Asia/Oceania qualifiers, the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup all taking place within the year all around the world.
After leading the Rollers team to a bronze medal at the 2018 IWBF World Championships and managing the entire men’s and women’s Australian program at the Tokyo Paralympics, Craig Friday will continue coaching the Rollers side into 2022.
Working with the Rollers since 2002, Friday’s coaching highlights include assistant coaching the team to back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 IWBF World Championships and achieving silver and gold medal finishes at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics. With 20 years of wheelchair basketball experience, Friday has been with the team for the ultimate highs and will strive to get back to that position.
“Thanks to Basketball Australia for the opportunity to coach this team again, it’s an absolute honour and privilege,” Friday said.
“Our focus will be on the physical preparation of the athlete group, with discipline and establishing a winning culture. Our first challenge is to win Gold at Asia Oceania Zone championships in March 2022 and qualify for 2022 World Championships in Dubai in November.”
With more than 20 years of experience within the basketball coaching and administration realm, Craig Campbell will take on the top job of coaching the Australian Gliders. A BA Gliders Technical Assistant Coach from 2017-2021, Campbell’s promotion to head coach comes as no surprise.
His coaching experience extends to claiming bronze with the U23 Spinners at the 2017 IWBF World Champs in an assistant role and locally taking Kilsyth to a national championship in the 2015 NWBL season.
“It’s an exciting time to get to support the Gliders athletes on and off the court as Head Coach” Campbell said.
“I look forward to building on the foundation of the Aussie style of play implemented by Craig Friday in recent times; as we look to grow our pool of players competing for the honour of wearing the green and gold on the international stage.”
The Australian 3×3 wheelchair program has its first program lead in Nick Such. The 2018 Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association Coach of the Year, Such’s wealth of knowledge and experience he brings to the 3×3 program will be influential. With the task of launching the 3×3 wheelchair program to its first-ever Commonwealth Games appearance, Such is excited for the opportunity to launch the basketball format to new heights.
“The emergence of the wheelchair 3X3 program is an exciting time as it gives athletes the opportunity to both expand their 5on5 game or specialize in this 3X3 format, as we have seen with the able-bodied 3X3 tournament at the Tokyo Olympics,” Such said.
“With Para Wheelchair 3X3 now included at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, it is our goal to build a program that gives us immediate representation on the world stage whilst also creating a new pathway for wheelchair basketball athletes, coaches and support staff. I am very honoured to be appointed the Head Coach for the Australian 3X3 program. I thank Basketball Australia for the opportunity.”
The wheelchair program will get underway this month, with both the Rollers and Gliders teams participating in camps held at the AIS, in preparation for the Asia/Oceania World Cup qualifiers in Thailand this March.
Gliders: 16-20 February.
Rollers: 23-27 February.