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The Sureway Wollongong Roller Hawks have received a boost on the eve of Round 2 of the National Wheelchair Basketball League with Tristan Knowles set to play following the easing of COVID restrictions in Victoria.

The four time Paralympian was forced to sit out Round 1 after Victoria went into a snap lockdown leaving him to watch the start of the season unfold via live stream.


“I was due to fly out on Thursday morning when our lockdown was announced that very morning. I was so close, called and cancelled the taxi to the airport just an hour before being picked up,” says Knowles.

Knowles Vic Lockdown

“So deflating. Imagine the excitement I had after nearly 10 years out of a Roller Hawks singlet.”


“I’d trained so hard all through last year’s lockdowns and got myself in what I feel is the best condition of my career.”


“Watching online from Melbourne was really tough but the team started really well and I’m super pumped to be joining them for Round 2.”


On Thursday afternoon, Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino announced the easing of restrictions across the state with NSW also adjusting their rules which required anyone entering from Victoria to quarantine for 14 days.


Knowles, a founding member for the Roller Hawks, was set to return to the club where it all began last year before COVID cancelled the 2020 season. 


Knowles is keen to return to the court to not only help the Roller Hawks but to push his own case for selection in the Australian Paralympic team after missing out on last weekend’s Rollers training camp in Perth due to the lockdown. 


“It’s absolutely an opportunity for certain people to turn the heads of selectors but I feel our playing group looks to go out and be perfect every game, not just when our coaches are watching. We always want to be at our best.”

The 2019 NWBL Scoring Champion will bolster an already formidable Wollongong lineup that won all four of its opening games at Shellharbour two weeks ago. 


“It is so exciting to be joining such a strong team with a clear culture of success. I plan to adjust and transition into the systems as quickly as possible so we can really hit our straps immediately.” 


“I think a centrepiece of the team’s success over the years has been that it doesn’t rely on any one person, but many players getting their job done and I look forward to doing my bit.”


“I think my competitive nature and energy will really compliment the team.”


Round 2 will be hosted by the Sydney Metro Blue Hornets who opted to sit out Round 1 after their Victorian based players were also unable to travel due to the lockdown.


The Roller Hawks play just two games this round. The first against the Australian U23 Spinners on Saturday at 11am and then again on Sunday against the Blue Hornets at 1pm. Both games are at the Hills Basketball Stadium, Castle Hill.