Australia’s Ella Sabljak has been appointed by the Asia Oceania Zone to be their representative on the new IWBF Athlete Steering Committee.

Discussing how it felt to be chosen for the Zone, Ella said:

“It feels a little bit overwhelming as we’re the first group to be doing this, so we’re all figuring things out as we go along, but I’m also extremely excited to be a part of this group alongside Hassan, Erica and Carina, who are all well respected in the wheelchair basketball community. It’s great to have an athlete perspective on how to potentially make improvements for our support of the future.”

28-year-old Ella is part of the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team making her senior debut at a major at the 2018 World Championships, following a successful junior career where she won silver at the inaugural 2011 Under 25 World Championship, and then captained the team four years later to another silver medal in Beijing.

Ella hopes to bring some of the knowledge and lessons learnt over the past 10 years playing on the international stage to her role on the Steering Committee:

“I really hope that we can bring a fresh perspective on relevant topics that arise. I feel as though we will be able to create a stronger relationship between athletes and IWBF, bringing everyone closer together and more connected.”

Ella is also a qualified teacher, studying at Griffith University in Queensland, and juggles her teaching with her training programme and commitments to the national team. She plays club basketball for the Queensland Comets in Australia’s Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League.

Looking ahead to the future, Ella added:

“I hope that we can pave the way for athletes to feel as though our voices are heard and respected. It’s also a good opportunity to bring the IWBF’s messages directly to the athletes, as well as represent everyone’s voice.

“And I really hope that wheelchair basketball continues to thrive and get bigger and better, and I also hope that all athletes feel supported and valued!”

Find our more information on the Athlete Steering Committee.