Ambition and strength: meet Bond University's champion wheelchair basketballer

July 2, 2019

Bond University student Georgia Inglis had a point to prove when she was overlooked to represent Australia at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships last year.

She responded by moving to the US on a scholarship and winning the world’s best women's wheelchair basketball league with the University of Alabama team.

Now with a 2019 College National Championship under her belt, the 25-year-old is again pressing for selection in the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team, the Gliders, with the intention of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“I didn’t get selected for worlds last year and it was heartbreaking,” said Inglis, who is studying a Master of Occupational Therapy at Bond.

“I went away to college and have come back and am really proving myself.

“That snub is driving me for sure. I’m not going to let not being picked be an option for Tokyo.

“Going to the Olympics is my dream, I want to make the team and I want to make the starting team. I don’t want to be a bench warmer. Alabama really helped with that.

“I’ve been playing with world class athletes and have seen what it takes to make world class teams and what you have to do to get to that level.”

Inglis returned from the US in May this year and had an immediate impact in the Australian WNWBL competition, being named player of the weekend for the Perth Wheelcats, who remain undefeated with an imposing 7-0 record.

The guard has averaged an impressive triple-double across the last three victories, recording 12.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.3 assists per contest.

Inglis is hopeful of getting a recall to the Australian side to play against the US in Canberra later this month.

“They are one of the best teams in the world,” she said.

“We have qualifiers at the end of the year in Thailand, so they are crucial for Olympic qualification.

“It’s hectic trying to fit in school and training and flying around the country every other week.

“I don’t have a life at the moment -- it’s assignments and training and more assignments but being an athlete gives you life skills and time management. It’s hard work but a lot of fun.”

Inglis was 10 when she lost the use of her legs in an accident and since then she has wanted to inspire others on and off the court.

“Honestly, I didn’t have the most amazing experience after my accident and my mission is to improve the system and spinal rehab,” she said.

“I’ve wanted to do something to help ever since I had my accident all those years ago.”