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When the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team takes the court in Germany tomorrow morning it will be all business as the side builds towards the World Cup qualifiers later this year.

 Hannah Doddweb

The Gliders will play 4 games in 2 days against Germany and the Netherlands on June 3 and 4 before flying to England for the ‘Continental Clash’, where they’ll play Great Britain, Japan and Germany.


The whirlwind tour is the next step in the Gliders’ road to redemption after failing to make the Paralympics last year and follows on from the side’s silver medal winning performance at the Osaka Cup in February.


“Osaka is always a good tournament to play, it's a bit more relaxed and is usually used to get girls more experience,” says Roller Hawk and Glider Hannah Dodd.


“I really enjoy Osaka every year as you get a benchmark of where you're sitting in the world both as a team and individually.”


The Osaka Cup was David Gould’s first as Gliders’ head coach and he’s made it clear that the upcoming tournaments in Germany and England are not about results but rather game time and development.

“Europe for me is just another hit out and again to see where I'm measuring up internationally, see what training has paid off and what still needs working on,” says Dodd.


“As a team we’re still building things up after failing to qualify for Rio. This a just a stepping stone and building block for AOZ qualifiers at the end of the year.”


But if Dodd’s international fortune is anything like her success on the domestic front in 2017, then winning shouldn’t be a problem.


Currently both Dodd’s men’s and women’s teams are sitting at the top of their respective ladders. In the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League, the Sydney University Flames are 9-2 after 3 rounds while in the men’s league the Roller Hawks have started the season 5-1.


“We've had a rough few years (at the Flames) and struggled to pull off cohesive play. Now we've been together for a few years and got a few really good bigs it's been a really fun season so far.”


“NWBL is very different. This is my second season with the Hawks and I really enjoy playing with the boys, it pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me work harder and play a different role to women's.”




World Super Cup
June 3: Australia vs. Germany at 4am
June 4: Australia vs. Netherlands at 12am
June 4: Australia vs. Germany at 4am
June 4: Australia vs. Netherlands at 8pm

Continental Clash
June 6: Australia vs. Germany at 9.15pm
June 7: Australia vs. Great Britain at 6.15am
June 7: Australia vs. Japan at 9pm
June 8: Semi-Finals
June 9: Medal Games