Both teams are the final step in the pathway to the Australian Rollers and Gliders and the appointments of Ness and Charlton will strengthen that connection as they both also serve as assistant coaches of the national teams.
Charlton is the head coach of the Western Stars in the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL), a team he has led to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons while they won the 2016 Championship when the team owned a 17-1 record.
“Stephen has been working with our pathway women for the past six months in his role as the Gliders assistant coach and his coaching resume across the State Basketball League in Western Australia and the WNWBL stacks up perfectly with what we are building,” said National Wheelchair Program Manager, Leigh Gooding.
“Working under coach Gould for the last 18 months, Stephen has proven to be adaptable, energetic and very capable in the wheelchair game.”
The Spinners got together for the first time in 2018 at the January ADC last week with Rollers coach Craig Friday and Ness leading up that group.
A five-time Paralympian himself, Ness won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and two World Championship gold medals before recently taking up a position as head coach at the WAIS Wheelchair Basketball Program in Perth.
“We are very excited to announce such an experienced campaigner in Brad as our Under-23 program head coach looking towards the 2021 World Championships,” said Gooding.
“The Spinners are such a young and raw group of athletes and we could not ask for a better role model and leader in Brad.
“He can share his experiences first hand with the players and take them from their infancy as a group into a tough, skilful and resilient squad that will represent Australia on the international stage and then hopefully make the transition into the Rollers program.”
The 2018 seasons for the NWBL and WNWBL begin next month with several members of the Spinners and Devils competing in those leagues while the Kevin Coombs Cup for wheelchair basketball will also run concurrently with the Under-18’s in Geelong, Victoria from April 21-28.
National Wheelchair Program Manager, Leigh Gooding
0423 403 326