2019 Kelly Griffin Challenge - Wheelchair Basketball

The 3rd Annual Kelly Griffin, Woman’s Wheelchair Basketball, Challenge was held on the 30th March for 2019.

 Hosted proudly at the CLM Otahuhu Leisure centre, this year’s event saw 21 women come together to participate in the day’s events following the Friday night, whole-group training (a new addition to the KGC schedule for 2019).

As the only opportunity in New Zealand for female wheelchair basketball players, it was fantastic to again see so many people come together to play, support and to be involved for this year’s event. Players who have been playing for years had the opportunity to support, and be role models for, the large number of players for who it was their first taste of the sport.

We were pleased to be joined by both the Auckland Dream and Harbour Breeze woman’s basketball teams, whose support boasts exciting things to come for future Kelly Griffin Challenges. The event is all about bringing women together, whether they have a disability or not, to have fun, develop new skills and to install love of wheelchair basketball, to grow and develop the sport in NZ.

The event was split into a Friday evening pre-training and the Saturday, Challenge day, was split with a 3x3 tournament and a 5x5 tournament which was concluded with an awards ceremony and evening meal. With the positive feedback from this year’s Challenge, we are committed to continuing to grow the event and to encourage increased female participation in wheelchair basketball.

The 3x3 tournament results:

·         Gold - Team Two – Daniella Egle-Bast, Idaho (Dream), Jaycin (Breeze) and Te Rongapai McNaught

·         Silver – Team One – Cathy Parker, Gemma Fletcher, Amanda (Dream) and Vanessa (Breeze)

·         Bronze – Team Five – Emma Colaglen, Faithleen Tou, Hailey (Dream) and Yume (Breeze)

The 5x5 tournament results:

·         1st – Parafed Auckland

·         2nd - Auckland Dream

·         3rd – Harbour Breeze

 Awards:

·         MVP

o   Low Pointer – Daniella Egle-Bast

o   Mid Pointer – Elizabeth Falemoe-Wong King

o   High Pointer – Cathy Parker

·         Invacare Most Improved

o   Junior – Elizabeth Falemoe-Wong King

o   Senior – Amanda Buck (Dream) and Vanessa (Breeze)

·         Kelly Griffin Spirit of the Game Award

o   Winner – Cathy Parker

o   Runner up – Gemma Fletcher

The day would not have been possible without volunteer support. Special thanks to all the people who continue to give their time freely to enable the growth of woman’s wheelchair basketball in Auckland.

·         Organising Committee – Katie Owen, Cathy Parker, Daniella Egle-Bast, Dave Sherriff, and Diane Eaglesome

·         Coach – Dave Sherriff

·         Referees: Mark Sullivan, Ricardo Gozon and Mike Hall

·         Score Bench – Jaden Molvold, Ina Tou, Lucky Marurai, Bevan Murray, Jessie Mclean

·         Event Assistance – Tina Harris and Jessie Mclean

·         Photographer – Lise Baldwin

We would also like to extend massive thanks to the Grassroots Trust for their support of the Kelly Griffin Challenge again for 2019, your contribution to our tournament is greatly appreciated and invaluable in supporting the growth of woman’s wheelchair basketball in NZ.

Final thanks go to the family of Kelly Griffin – Jenny, Dan and Katey. Thank you again for your continued support of the Kelly Griffin Challenge. Kelly continues to inspire new and existing players and it’s fantastic to see characteristics similar to Kelly’s in the form of determination, skill, humour, sportsmanship and support seen so evidently throughout the weekend.