The National Institute Network (NIN) Challenge for wheelchair basketball is underway at The Hangar in Melbourne, as athletes from across the country come together for the inaugural event.
This is the first time this initiative has taken place as wheelchair basketballers from the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS), Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) and Queensland Academy of Sport battle it out in 11 full games and 31 3×3 matches.
The four-day event – which also includes Gliders representatives from NSW and SA – began on Thursday and wraps up on Sunday. As well as hitting the court, the event will also include athlete education sessions led by VIS and Basketball Australia staff covering topics such as nutrition, sports psychology and athlete wellbeing.
Head Coach of the Gliders and Victorian Institute of Sport, Craig Campbell, said this Challenge would provide many areas of growth for everyone involved.
“Five on five game play to implement team concepts has been one of the major things missing from our daily training environment, so being able to collaborate with WAIS & QAS for the NIN Challenge is giving our VIS athletes the opportunity to further evolve their game in readiness to compete at the next level,” Campbell said.
“These games help show why we’re working on certain things in our small group DTEs (daily training environments) and also to challenge where we can push our growth as a national program moving forward.”
Brad Ness, the Head Coach of the Western Australian Institute of Sport echoed Campbell’s sentiments.
“The NIN Challenge is a great opportunity for all our WAIS athletes to not only get extra competition, which is valuable to their individual development, but also an opportunity to hear from nutritionists, S&C coaches and sport psychologists from around Australia who can assist them with up-to-date information to help the athletes prepare for upcoming International and National competition.”
The next dates on the international wheelchair basketball calendar will see the Rollers tour Thailand between 8-14 May, while the Gliders head to the USA for a Colorado tour from 15-24 May. Both of these world tours form part of the teams’ preparations for June’s World Championships in Dubai.
For more information on how you can get involved in wheelchair basketball, click here.