The Australian under-25 women’s wheelchair basketball team has been selected for this month’s International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Women’s Under-25 World Championships in Thailand.
The Devils, bronze medallists in Beijing four years ago when the event was last held, are among eight teams vying for medals at this year’s competition in Suphan Buri, which runs from May 23 to 28.
"This is an exciting time as we get ready for the upcoming under-25 World Championships in Suphan Buri," said Australia’s head coach Stephen Charlton.
“We have a young team of exciting athletes that we believe have fantastic opportunities in front of them.
“Ranging from ages 13 all the way up to 21, this will be an incredible opportunity for these players to experience international competition and compete for their country.”
The majority of the selected junior Devils have experience playing at national club level, with Maryanne Latu, Jess Cronje, Georgia Bishop-Cash, Mary Friday, Isabel Martin and Taishar Ovens having been a part of the national leagues for several years.
Three developing athletes have also been named – Lauren Hardbottle, Sarah King and Victoria Simpson – who are eligible to compete in the next three under-25 Championships.
The Australian team has been drawn in a tough pool alongside the United States, Germany and Turkey.
The United States are set to bring their starting unit from last year’s senior IWBF World Championships and as a result will be one of the favourites along with Britain.
Australia's first game is against Germany in what will be a crucial match-up for their quarter final cross over chances.
"This is a great opportunity and one that all the players and staff are very much looking forward to," said Australia’s Head of Wheelchair Basketball Leigh Gooding.
"Being selected to represent your country on the International stage, and to be able to play at the highest junior level is an honour.
"This is a young developing group, and a fantastic squad of young women that will do us proud.
"They will need to come together very quickly in the early rounds, in what is sure to be a testing environment to make a run at a medal, but we are confident with the personnel we have selected.”