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Sarah Skidmore named as Australian Pearls Assistant Coach

After winning back to back Bronze Medals at the 2018 and 2019 U20 and Ivor Burge Championships, ACT Ivor Burge Women’s Head Coach Sarah Skidmore has been named as an Assistant Coach of the Australian Pearls.

The Australian Pearls are the women’s Australian team for players with an Intellectual Disability. The team competes in a number of international tournaments and will be competing at the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane later this year.

Skidmore will be attending the Australian Pearls Squad Camp this weekend and says she is looking forward to being part of the team.

ACT Ivor Burge Women’s Team receiving Bronze at the 2019 ACT U20 & IB Championships

“Being named as the assistant coach of the Australian Pearls is exciting,” said Skidmore. “Obviously I’ve been working with Ivor Burge teams for the last six years so it’s exciting to be involved in an Australian program.”

After starting her Ivor Burge coaching career while still at University, Skidmore says the opportunity to coach at the elite level is something she’s always wanted to do.

“I feel like it recognises the work that I’ve put in over the years, putting a team together in Canberra which is not an easy task,” said Skidmore.

“Finding players is a challenge, we’ve got a small state so we have limited numbers to choose from and generally there are less numbers in female participation.”

Joining Skidmore at the camp will be ACT Ivor Burge players Louwanna Sheridan and Cassandra (Cass) Ivory. The pair were invited to the camp following their strong performance at the U20 & Ivor Burge Championships earlier this year.

Louwanna Sheridan at the 2019 U20 & Ivor Burge Championships

“This will be Louwanna’s second camp and Cass’s first camp,” said Skidmore.

“I imagine that both of them are excited, it should be lots of fun and they get a chance to show off and develop their skills and try and earn their spot on the Pearls team.”

With the games at the 2019 INAS Global Games set to be played in the 3×3 format, the Pearls Camp will primarily focus on the new format.

“The Camps are 3×3 based so that is a big learning curve for me,” said Skidmore. “I haven’t had much to do with 3×3 but it is taking off around Australia so it’s a step in the door for that pathway.”

“Learning from Larry [Head Coach of the Australian Pearls] will be fantastic. He’s a very knowledgeable coach and has coached the Pearls for a number of years so there lots of learning to happen from him.”

Basketball ACT would like to wish Sarah, Louwanna and Cass all the best for the Camp on the weekend!

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