By admin | Published February 18, 2016
Wheelchair Basketball began its informal affiliation with the Frenchville Sports Club in 2009 as The Frenchville Force. The makeup of the team consisted of one team with a roster of fourteen players. The Frenchville Force won the inaugural CQ Wheelchair Basketball Competition in 2009.
In 2012 the team name was changed to the Frenchville Rockwheelers following formal affiliation and support with the Frenchville Sports Club. The team consists of members of the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. The local training program is run out of Hegvold Stadium with players from Rockhampton and Gladstone in attendance.
Wheelchair Basketball has a unique classification system that allows everyone, no matter their ability, to participate in the sport and be part of a team. The team has members with a variety of physical disabilities including paraplegia, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and limb amputation but is also inclusive of able-bodied participants and volunteers.
Local Wheelchair Basketball has changed and evolved significantly since the affiliation with Frenchville Sports Club. The significant financial support and community presence has allowed the players to spread their wings and attend competitions throughout Queensland, interstate and also overseas (at the invitation of New Caledonia).
The distances the Frenchville Rockwheelers travel and the effort invested to compete is formidable. Travelling to towns such Townsville, Cairns, Woolongong and back in a mini bus on a three-day weekend to play basketball requires endurance and enthusiasm for this wonderful team sport.
Over the years Frenchville Rockwheelers have built a diverse and dynamic wheelchair basketball community which prides itself on tough competition, development and support of junior athletes.
In 2013, Frenchville Rockwheelers won every competition they entered. After nearly twelve months of preparation, a core group of players from Rockhampton and Central Queensland held off quality competition to take out the 2013 A-Grade State Wheelchair Basketball Championships at Brisbane’s Boondall Sports Centre.
The Frenchville Rockwheelers have remained competitive and have grown from entering one team in the state championships to now having the capacity to field three teams at the same tournament.
The Frenchville Rockhwheeler Wheelchair Basketball Program is recognised as the strongest regional team in the country. It is renowned for the sportsmanship, never-say-die attitude and strength across the board of its players at all levels and abilities.
In 2014 we became the first team ever invited to travel to and be hosted by New Caledonia where we competed in two tournaments. A group of 10 players and support staff spent a week in New Caledonia absorbing the culture, as well as training and playing wheelchair basketball with local players. This was an amazing experience for everyone, with a large number of players having their first trip outside of Australia.
In May 2016, the Rockhampton community were offered an opportunity to enjoy the incredibly fast and entertaining sport of state-level wheelchair basketball when two NWBL (National Wheelchair Basketball League) teams; the Red Dust Heelers and the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets played against each other over two days at Hegvold Stadium.
Frenchville Rockwheelers had players in both the national representative teams with Rod McPherson and Jason Holohan playing in the Spinning Bullets and Corey Lawton playing with the Red Dust Heelers in front of his family and friends.
Players within the local Frenchville Wheelchair Basketball Program have been involved in the following:
- Queensland Wheelchair Basketball Championships (The Classics)
- Northern Challenge Wheelchair Basketball Competition – against teams from Mackay, Townsville and Cairns
- Suncoast Spinners Wheelchair Basketball Tournament – Caloundra
- Top End Slam Down Under – Wollongong
- Queensland Comets – Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League
- Played overseas in New Caledonia
- Kevin Coombs Cup (National Wheelchair Basketball the Classics Championships for Junior Wheelchair Basketball)
- Australian Institute of Sport training camps
At the beginning of 2018 we currently have 21 players in our local program and have representative players in the National Wheelchair Basketball League. We have a strong Junior Development Program and a supportive team culture which is the envy of other clubs. We have the support of volunteers, community members, family and friends who share our passion for this wonderful sport.
We would not be in this position without the support of the Frenchville Sports Club who have allowed us to continue to provide the opportunities for wheelchair basketball athlete development for all ages and abilities.
In 2009 we had one team. In 2018 we have three teams. We are involved and supported in our local community and are proud of our name and the support we receive from this wonderful community and the Frenchville Sports Club.
- All potential members and volunteers must be a financial member of both the Frenchville Sports Club and the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association.
- Interview with Coach.
Regular training is held at Hegvold Stadium on Wednesdays (6.00pm to 8.00pm) and Saturday mornings (8.00am to 10.00am).
Fixtures are to be advised.
For more information about Frenchville Wheelchair Basketball contact:
Shaun Ryan – 0418 794 161