Ipswich Force basketballer Lauaren O'Sullivan tries to outmanoevre the defence of Townsville opponent Ainsley Walsh during the recent QBL women's encounter.
Ipswich Force basketballer Lauaren O'Sullivan tries to outmanoevre the defence of Townsville opponent Ainsley Walsh during the recent QBL women's encounter. Alix Sweeney

How Lauren's sporting change lifts her basketball dream

BASKETBALL: One of Ipswich's most dependable contributors has benefited immensely from a stint weightlifting.

However it's not only extra strength Lauren O'Sullivan has acquired for Ipswich Force in this year's Queensland Basketball League competition.

"I'm probably a bit lighter than I was the last season I played, so more mobile, which is always a good thing,'' she said.

O'Sullivan has been back on court in Ipswich's first five games of the new season after taking a break from basketball following her graduate and post-graduate study demands.

She took up weightlifting 18 months ago, enjoying some competition success working with local trainers improving her fitness.

Although she didn't get to the national championships she was hoping to, O'Sullivan plans to continue weightlifting in the future.

"I'm looking to get there at some point. Maybe in the off-season for basketball,'' she said.

"I was having a couple of niggling injuries and busy at the time so I'm giving myself a bit of a break because I was doing back-to-back kind lifting cycles.''

The Ipswich born and bred sports-woman is happy to be back with Force in the state league.

"It's been really, really good playing with everyone again,'' she said, keen to pursue her long-time basketball passion.

"I have a lot of friends in the team so that's been really, really good.''

 

QBL women's basketball match played between the Ipswich Force and Gladstone at the Ipswich Basketball Stadium on Saturday. Lauren O'Sullivan.
Ipswich Force basketballer Lauren O'Sullivan focuses on her work playing against Gladstone this season. Rob Williams

Her latest time away from basketball followed another break a few years ago.

"I guess it was kind of a period around transitioning out of uni life and getting into work,'' she said.

O'Sullivan finished her undergraduate (health) in 2013 before pursuing post-grad studies in project management.

Preparing for this weekend's doubleheader against South West Metro and Toowoomba at Ipswich Stadium, the Force women have won three of their five games.

O'Sullivan, 26, felt she was among the players still settling into this season's 2019 Force side.

"As a team, there's a lot of new girls who haven't necessarily played together in the team this year,'' she said.

"I think we're still trying to find our feet..

"Getting back on the court, my body composition is a little bit different, so I'm still working out just how I can play now and how I can fit within the team. We're getting there.''

Having last weekend off gave O'Sullivan and her state league team mates a chance to relax. However, she's keen to help Force build momentum like the team did when she watched a number of last year's QBL games while she had a break.

"I couldn't stay away,'' she said.

"We've had such a sporadic start to the season . . . so it will be good to get back out on court.''

Enjoying wearing Force colours again, O'Sullivan has moved home to Ripley to be closer to training and home games.

However, she's still working in Brisbane on a project team that is helping design a new hospital facility set to open in 2021.

"It's pretty full-on,'' the health service planner said.

Given her ambitious sporting goals, she wouldn't have it any other way.

Training thoughts

POWERFUL performer Lauren O'Sullivan has discovered some parallels between basketball and weightlifting.

"There's definitely an element within both,'' she said, having started her state league basketball career in 2011 and having played all her junior basketball for Ipswich.

"You put in the hard work and then you have to leave the things that are out of your control.

"Some days you just have bad days. Some days you can't lift weights. Some days it's awesome around the hoop.

"The biggest difference I've noticed is having a team. That's what I've really missed.

"While I enjoyed the accountability of lifting and knowing that the only thing I'm going to get out of it is the work that I've put in . . . it's also nice to come to training and have a team and have that camaraderie.''