Fu­ri­ous Wheel­cats boy­cott na­tional league

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - By TOM RABE

THE Perth Wheel­cats are boy­cotting the 2015 Na­tional Wheel­chair Bas­ket­ball League (NWBL) af­ter an­other Perth team was added to the com­pe­ti­tion just weeks be­fore round one.

Wheel­chair Sport WA As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray­mond Yong said the de­ci­sion to boy­cott the 2015 NWBL sea­son was a last re­sort.

The dis­pute be­tween the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and Bas­ket­ball Australia sur­rounded the changes to fix­tures as a re­sult of a new Perth team be­ing in­tro­duced at late no­tice.

Mr Yong said the play­ers were ap­pre­hen­sive about turn­ing their backs on the up­com­ing sea­son but un­der­stood the rea­sons for it.

“They didn’t want this to hap­pen, they very re­luc­tantly did it but felt that at some stage the prin­ci­ple had to stand; you can’t run a league while chang­ing fix­tures two weeks out from the sea­son,” Mr Yong said.

“The fi­nal fix­tures are is­sued in March and it was only two weeks out that they changed the fix­tures by in­tro­duc­ing a new team and resched­uled games, which would have made it ridicu­lous for us to com­pete.”

Mr Yong said the de­ci­sion by Bas­ket­ball Australia chief ex­ec­u­tive An­thony Moore to in­tro­duce a new team to the league con­tra­vened the gov­ern­ing body’s in­ter­nal gov­er­nance, rules and reg­u­la­tions.

“The play­ers are united and determined to bring change to the se­nior man­age­ment of Bas­ket­ball Australia and to en­sure the peo­ple man­ag­ing the sport of Wheel­chair Bas­ket­ball in Australia

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson are accountable to their own rules and reg­u­la­tions and act in the best in­ter­ests of ath­letes,” he said.

A signed state­ment from the Wheel­cats team was re­leased on Thurs­day and apol­o­gised for any in­con­ve­nience the de­ci­sion may cause other wheel­chair ath­letes.

“We take th­ese ac­tions re­luc­tantly and know­ing full well that, for some of us, it may im­pact our chances to rep­re­sent Australia at the Rio de Janeiro Par­a­lympic Games in 2016,” the state­ment said.

Mr Yong said the dis­pute would not be set­tled in 2015.

“The res­o­lu­tion will not be this year, given we’re out of the league;, it will be how Bas­ket­ball Australia runs the league in 2016,” he said.

Bas­ket­ball Australia could not re­spond be­fore dead­line.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d402741

Wheel­cats co-cap­tains Shaun Nor­ris and Justin Eve­son.

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