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It is with much disappointment that the Sureway Wollongong Roller Hawks share the news that the 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League season has been officially cancelled.


Basketball Australia has today announced:


"We have been trying to give the ongoing COVID outbreaks in Australia as long a lead time as possible for states to get on top of their outbreak however sadly we are seeing the case numbers continue to deteriorate and border restrictions continue to be in place around the country. While the vaccination roll out has improved, Australia is not poised to hit the required 70% national double vaccination rate to move into a more open country until at least November according to current government modelling"


Basketball Australia have advised that no winner will be declared for the season and the league will now turn its attention to season 2022.


Roller Hawks President Geoff Adams says the outcome is not surprising.


“Whilst it is disappointing to not be able to finish what we started after beginning the year 9-0, the writing has been on the wall for a little while,” says Adams


“I just want to thank everyone - sponsors, volunteers and supporters for helping to get some sort of a season up and running. The team really appreciated being able to get back on court after completely missing out in 2020.”


“The opportunity to host the opening round, the first elite wheelchair basketball in two years, and bring everyone together was a lot of fun and we thank everyone who came out and supported us.”


“One of the driving forces to start the season this year, despite the uncertainty, was to give our Australian players some much needed court time ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics and we achieved that. It was great to watch our Rollers and Gliders represent Australia with pride.”


The season began under difficult circumstances with three teams opting not to field teams this season. Round 1 tipped off just as the May COVID outbreak occurred in Melbourne, stopping Victorian based players including Roller Hawks Tristan Knowles from playing. 


Case numbers went down in time for Round 2 allowing the Melbourne based players to play and Round 3 went ahead in Perth before the league was forced to shut down ahead of Round 4 in Brisbane due to outbreaks and border closures around the country. 


Basketball Australia then suspended the season to allow players in the Australian program to focus on preparations for the Tokyo Paralympics. The cancellation is in line with much of community based sport already abandoned including a lot of Basketball Australia’s age championships.


“The Roller Hawks committee will get together virtually in the coming weeks to attend to any matters in light of today’s news and we’ll remain in contact with our stakeholders,” says Adams.


The club would like to take the opportunity to thank its valued sponsors who helped get the Roller Hawks season up and running including naming rights sponsor Sureway Employment & Training, team sponsors Peoplecare, His Boy Elroy, Just Better Care, Lancaster Law & Mediation, Illawarra Mercury, Southern Habitat, Resin Brewery, player sponsors Dolphin Point Homes, Paul Scully MP, Rotary Club of Shellharbour City, Mudgee Lamb, Potters Contracting, MoneyQuest, South Coast Decorative Concrete Supplies, Phoenix Mobile Laundry Services and special thanks to UOW Printery, Aceit, Microsolve, LP Designs & Collegians.