The Adelaide Thunder has just broken the record for the longest wheelchair basketball game, clocking at 32 hours of play as part of a fundraising event to get them back into the national league.
The team folded three years ago due to a lack of funding and in order to compete in next year’s season it needs to raise $40,000.
It came up with an innovative way to attract attention and hopefully some donations and sponsors with a world record attempt.
Beginning on Saturday morning, the players embarked on a continuous 32-hour game, which finished at 5:00pm on Sunday with a final score of 1,956 to 1,683.
It beat the current registered world record of 27.5 hours and also surpassed a New Zealand team’s claim to have played for 30 hours.
Coach David Gould said it was a fantastic effort.
“They’ve really pushed, they’re tired, they’re fatigued, they’re sore … all the players down on the court have just been fantastic to just keep going,” he said.
He said it was disappointing to see the team fold after achieving huge success in the 1980s and 1990s.l
“Funding became really tough and there are a lot of new players now who have had an accident and ended up in a wheelchair or lost their leg, whatever their situation might be, and they haven’t had the opportunity to play the sport they love, so getting back in the league is fantastic.
“We want to give the opportunities to these athletes to represent Australia and go to the Paralympics.”
Despite a steady flow of onlookers who made donations, the team is still a long way off its fundraising goal.
The Thunder’s Adam Roocke, who was behind the fundraising initiative, said he and his teammates desperately wanted to get back into the national league.
“It means the world to the whole team,” he said.
“To not have a team in the comp for three years, we’re all pretty disappointed and didn’t really know where to go, so yeah getting this team back into the national comp is just going to be unbelievable.
“We’ve shown that we’re committed so as long as we can raise the funds we’re in.”