IWBF Open Call | The IWBF Athlete Steering Committee recently held an open call alongside athletes to discuss various topics. Australian Gliders’ Ella Sabljak, the Asia Oceania representative on the committee spoke to Rollt.’s Dylan Cummings to elaborate on how the call went.


Can you summarise what you addressed in the call?

“In our call we discussed the make-up of the future athletes’ commission, whilst also hearing from the IWBF athlete community about what they want out of an athletes’ commission.”


What topics came up in the athletes’ discussion and how did you respond to them?

“Topics arose around athlete education, athlete rights, athlete mental health resources, athlete inclusion of the LGBTQI+ community, how to engage more players to be involved, knowing where to go for information etc. We have taken all these topics on board and will discuss them further as to how we can build them into the future of the IWBF Athletes’ Commission. The discussion was brilliant, hearing directly from our athletes about what they want and how we can build a commission to suit all.”


In your opinion, what were some of the positive takeaways from the athletes’ discussion?

“I feel the biggest positive to take away from the athletes’ discussion was the fact that we heard from the athletes directly and we started a conversation which will grow as the athletes’ commission gets stronger.”


How did the call benefit the Athlete Steering Committee?

“We will now take all of the discussion points back to the drawing board and see how we can incorporate them into the IWBF Athlete Steering Committee.”


How do you aim to improve athlete engagement within these calls going forward?

“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and to build an athletes’ commission from the ground up has had its challenges – and not having tournaments and being in the thick of the wheelchair basketball world has probably hurt us in regard to athlete engagement. The biggest improvement I believe to grow athlete engagement would be to get out into the wheelchair basketball communities and have face-to-face discussions around athletes’ needs and concerns.”


What’s next for the Athlete Steering Committee? Do you have a date set for the next sets of open calls yet?

“We’re meeting every two weeks to discuss these topics so we’re working hard behind the scenes to develop the framework. At this stage, we don’t have any future open calls planned, however we would be open to having more if the demand is there.”


Thanks for your time Ella!


To view the presentation that the Athlete Steering Committee presented during the open call, click here! (Note: As stated by IWBF, this is a working document and is still subject to review and consultation.)


To contact the IWBF Athlete Steering Committee directly please email: players@iwbf.org


Note: The IWBF Athlete Steering Committee is neither endorsed nor unendorsed by the editorial team at Rollt. We remain neutral as a magazine. However, we thank Ella for answering our questions.


Interview: Dylan Cummigs | Photo: Steffie Wunderl

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