By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
HOPEFULLY former Gladstone resident Naomi Schouten enjoys her Chinese food ? she could be eating it in Beijing in 2008 after impressing at the recent Australian Gliders wheelchair basketball training camp in Sydney.
Schouten, who is now based in Rockhampton was selected for the training camp after sensational form with the Queensland team in the Women's Wheelchair National Basketball League. Schouten was so good, that she was named as an official member of the Gliders squad.
The selection was a fine reward for Schouten who has dedicated herself to wheelchair basketball ever since a car accident left her an incomplete paraplegic in 2003.
Back home for a couple of days off, Schouten said the camp was a great experience.
"I had a great time, training alongside the Australian team with all the big names in the sport was a valuable experience for me,'' Schouten said.
"The girls were so encouraging and patient with the new players like myself which was great.''
Schouten was rapt to officially be named as a Gliders squad member and is now rated a good chance of going to the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
"I went to the camp not knowing if it was a one-off opportunity, but was very happy when I was named in the squad,'' she said.
Even though the camp was a tough one for Schouten, she loved the experience and cannot wait for the next one.
"As overwhelming as it was, I really enjoyed the first camp and can't wait until the next one,'' she said.