Ella Sabljak took up wheelchair basketball in 2008 and by 2011 represented Australia at the Women’s U25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship in Canada, where the team won the silver medal. At the 2015 U25 Championship in China, Sabljak was national captain and guided the team to another silver medal.
Between those tournaments, the 1.0 point guard began to establish herself at senior level, making her debut for the Gliders at the Osaka Cup in Japan in 2013. In subsequent years, Sabljak’s skills and positive influence within the team environment earned her regular selection.
The Gliders’ failure to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was a bitter blow. But it only stoked the fire within Sabljak and her teammates, who secured their place for the Tokyo2020 Games. During her recent Tokyo2020 Paralympic campaign, the Gliders finished 9th in the world. With a young fresh team, the Gliders are now ready to tackle the World Championships in 2022 and hopes set on Paris Paralympics in 2024.
The school teacher from Queensland is now a key player for the Gliders. She is also a busy advocate for her sport, having been appointed by the Asia Oceania Zone to be their representative on the IWBF’s Athlete Steering Committee, whose task has been to establish an Athlete’s Commission; as well as recently being voted into Paralympics Australia's Athlete Commission.