Wheelchair baller hunts second crack at Paralympics
It's been a long time coming but Sippy Downs athlete Hannah Dodd is back in the hunt for a second Paralympics cap as she returns to elite training in green and gold.
The 28 year old, who competed in equestrian at the 2012 London Paralympics, was named in a 20-strong Gliders senior women's wheelchair basketball squad on Tuesday.
The squad will be narrowed down to a final team of 12 in the coming months for the Tokyo Paralympics in August.
Dodd will fly to Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for a week-long camp this week.
She is excited about the opportunity after a year of interrupted training and lack of competition due to coronavirus restrictions.
"I'm super excited and happy we're back into the final run (to the Paralympics) again," she said.
"We (Australian squad) haven't seen each other since Paralympic qualifiers which were at the end of 2019 so I'm keen to get back on court with everyone and finally get back into it."
Dodd said the camp was vital considering there were some new faces in the team and large gap in preparations.
"With all the restrictions between state lines it's been hard to get together," she said.
"That's what makes this camp so important, it's the first time we have been able to get together, with the Australian Institute of Sport being a biosecurity bubble as such.
"It's (camp) just getting everyone back together and getting a bit of rhythm going again."
Dodd was hopeful she could secure her spot in the final 12 for the Tokyo Games.
She only took up basketball following her Paralympics debut in 2012.
"If you'd asked me eight years ago I definitely wouldn't have said I'd be going back to the Paralympics in another sport," she said.
"I'd never really done another sport outside of equestrian for my whole life so making a switch to basketball was definitely a big change, especially going from an individual sport to a team sport.
"It was a bit of a culture shock for me when I switched over but I'm honestly so excited to be looking at going to a second paralympics in a second sport."
Dodd said it was vital she stayed fit and healthy because issues with her immune system meant she was vulnerable to illness.
Her partner Steven Elliott is in the Australian men's Rollers squad which will also head into a camp at Canberra this week.
Both train regularly at University of the Sunshine Coast.