Ness Promotes Team Culture Project for WAIS Wheelchair Basketball
Wheelchair Basketball | Published:
Tue 15 May 2018
As the newest addition to the WA Institute of Sport’s program roster, head coach Brad Ness has wasted no time in implementing a unique piece of team culture for the WAIS Wheelchair Basketball Program.
As a five-time Paralympian, Ness himself was no stranger to positive team culture. He was captain of the Australian Rollers for three Paralympic campaigns and was bestowed the honour of Australian flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Having taken the roll of inaugural WAIS wheelchair basketball head coach in January, Ness said it was imperative that his program athletes feel part of something bigger.
In reinforcing that view, it was his belief that imbedding an annual jersey presentation – as part of a foundation culture for the program – was a good start to fostering that connection with WAIS for his athlete group.
When asked why he’d initiated this approach Ness answered, "To know that you’re part of a team, and that’s what we’re trying to build here. We’re brand new, we’re four months in to hopefully a long lasting program and I just want to start from here, and year on year build this night to become something pretty special,” Ness said.
The 2008 Beijing Paralympic champion presented the first jersey himself, and then invited each athlete thereafter to select a jersey and introduce the recipient, as a way of reflecting the shared journey that each of the program athletes will have.
"It’s a sense of belonging here at WAIS, that’s the big thing,” Ness offered. "Being able to come in, and actually, that you’ve got your team with you and you’re a part of this building with everything that they’re doing, you know, on and off the court.”
The WAIS Wheelchair Basketball Program has 14 scholarship athletes, including five existing Paralympians. It is open to men and women and includes both, senior and developing talent.