Sarah Stewart has been competing with her team in the Asia-Oceania Zone Championships in Thailand.
Sarah and the Australian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team approached the tournament knowing that as well as being a major tournament it would also determine whether they would qualify for the IWBF World Championships in Canada next year.
The team put in an excellent performance at the preliminary stages. They started with a 64-28 win over Japan, other results included a 69-32 win over Thailand and a 67-26 win over China. China came closer later when Australia won 40-36 and Japan also stretched Sarah’s team who won 44-38. Australia finished the six match preliminary stage unbeaten.
The semi final against Thailand turned into a one sided match with Australia going through after a 67-3 match. They then played China in the final and ran out 57-35 winners, top of the region and qualifying for the World Cup.
We caught up with Sarah a couple of days after the tournament, and she was thoroughly pleased with how everything went. It was a great tournament for us, we really bonded well as a team in our first tournament with our newly appointed coaching staff, and everyone stepped up and performed. I was happy to be playing with the girls in such an important qualifier tournament, and to have everyone playing a crucial role. It was awesome that we went through undefeated and it's really exciting to think about where we might be able to get to by World Cup next year.”
She was also fed well by the hosts. Sarah travels with a multilingual book that covers the topic of veganism in lots of different languages, and backs up the phrasebook she takes. “Once I explained to the organizers and the caterers, it went really well and they had specially prepared meals for me for breakfasts, lunches & dinner. They often had noodle dishes, tofu and vegetables, mushroom and vegetable soup, fresh fruit and coconut desserts.”