Meet the Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames

30 April 2010

Sarah Stewart, Paralympic medallist and captain of the Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames.
Sarah Stewart, Paralympic medallist and captain of the Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames.

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) is proud to announce the integration of the first Australian university wheelchair basketball team into the Sydney Uni Flames basketball program for 2010.

Incorporating the championship-winning Hills Hornets women's wheelchair basketball team, this new initiative places the University of Sydney at the forefront of both able-bodied and wheelchair women's basketball in NSW. The Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames will boast both experienced internationals and talented stars of the future - under the leadership of none other than dual Paralympian and current Sydney PhD candidate, Sarah Stewart.

Stewart is a current SUSF scholarship holder and is the proud owner of a silver medal from the Athens 2004 Paralympics and a bronze medal from the Beijing 2008 Paralympics.

"I am really thrilled to be part of such a wonderful program here at Sydney and to be supported by such an outstanding team," said Stewart.

The squad will also contain five-time Paralympian Leisl Tesch, Beijing Paralympian Katie Hill, SUSF scholarship holder and veterinary student Caitlin de Wit, rising star Stephanie van Leeuwen and 15-year-old Wagga Wagga school student Jessica Pellow - who is burning her way through the ranks in the Australian squad.

"It's an exhilarating time for women's basketball in NSW and women's sport in general. Sydney Uni is proud to support both the only WNBL team and the leading WNWBL team in NSW," said SUSF President Bruce Ross.

Stewart, Tesch and Hill have just returned from winning gold at the Osaka Cup in Japan - a tournament for four of the top five teams in international women's wheelchair basketball. The trio played an important role in the Australian Gliders defeating the USA (currently ranked number 1 in the world) in the final, 55-37.

The Sydney Uni Wheelchair Flames is making the University Sports and Aquatic Centre their home for the 2010 season, where they are playing this weekend.

Game times:

4pm, Friday 30 April against the Goudkamp Gladiators

7pm, Saturday 1 May against the Victorian Dandenong Rangers

12pm, Sunday 2 May against the Western Stars

Where: University Sports and Aquatic Centre, cnr Codrington St and Darlington Rd, Darlington

Media inquiries: Shari Wakefield, 9351 8116, 0407 668 312,