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Roller Hawks’ captain Brett Stibners departs for Spain today as he takes up a contract with top flight Spanish team BSR Valladolid.

Stibners GF 3

It’s the first time Stibners has played in an overseas league since 2008, with the three time Paralympian utilising the opportunity to train and play full-time in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.


“I’m looking forward to it. I figured my best opportunity to make the team for Tokyo was to play and train full time.”


Along for the adventure is his wife Bec and their two children.

“I think we’re at a point in our lives where myself and Bec are in a position to do it. We’ve both got long service leave and it just fits. She gets to have a holiday for 10 months and I get to play basketball.”


“Bec is looking forward to getting there and the kids are nervous about going to school.”


And while the kids might be hesitant about having to go to a place where they don’t speak the language, they won’t get much help from their dad. 


“I speak very little Spanish. I’m not sure if the other players speak English. I guess we will work it out as we go.”


In fact, Stibners knows very little about his new team other than that they come highly recommended by Australian teammate and good friend Tristan Knowles.


“Tristan put me on to the club. He described them as a family club. They like to compete but aren’t mad if you lose.”

Stibners will have just under a month to prepare with his new team with the season tipping off on 19th October and running through until May next year.


“I know absolutely nothing about the players except for one. I played with him for a season when I was last in Spain.” 


While the trip will be a good getaway for the Stibners clan, the move is primarily driven by ‘Sticky’s’ goal of making it to the Tokyo Paralympics. In order to do that, the Aussie Rollers must first win a berth at the AOZ Qualifiers which take place in Thailand in November.


“We’ve been told they are bringing 15 players for a pre-tournament camp. That will get cut to 12 and that will be our strongest team going forward.”