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With one year to the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022, meet event mascot Karla the kangaroo
Fans were greeted by one of the country's most iconic symbols - a kangaroo wearing a blue uniform with the No. 22 and answering to the name of Karla.
The basketball dribbling, passing and shooting roo will take to the courts and the streets of Sydney and Australia for the Women's World Cup that runs from September 22 to October 1, 2022.
Why a kangaroo? Featured on the Australian currency as well as the country's Coat of Arms, no single animal or image is more globally associated with Australia.
Fans will be interested to know that Karla is in fact a teenage kangaroo that hails from Alice Springs, the third-largest town in the Northern Territory. The Red Centre is also the birthplace of the event’s logo, which was inspired by fourteen-year-old Aboriginal basketballer Armarlie 'Marlii' Biscoe.
Possessing a friendly, magnetic personality, Karla loves to sing, dance and of course play basketball, which she does back home for the Alice Springers.
She will not spend all of her time in the arena. As Karla will be a first-time visitor to Australia's biggest city, she'll be out and about sightseeing when not watching games. The basketball dribbling marsupial is the perfect mascot for the event because she's athletic, dynamic, graceful, fast, powerful and proud. She's also progressive since kangaroos cannot go backwards!
Karla the mascot was conceived and designed by Spike Creative, with the design experience leaving its mark within the agency.
"It has been an absolute honor bringing Karla to life over the past couple of months and we can’t wait to see her representing on the global stage as the official Mascot of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022," said Mick Russell, Creative Director at Spike Creative. "We truly immersed ourselves in Karla’s persona during her character development and simply smile with pride and happiness every time she appears on our screens.
"Her personality exudes fun and warmth and I am confident she will bring plenty of vibrant energy and enthusiasm to the tournament - and will make us Aussies proud!"
As for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, Australia and the USA as the reigning Olympic champions have spots in the 12-team field, while the other 10 participants will come from four global qualifying tournaments taking place in February.
Those tournaments will have a total of 16 countries. The events will be comprised of the top six teams from this summer's FIBA Women's EuroBasket (Serbia, France, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia), the top four teams from the FIBA Women's AmeriCup (including AmeriCup and Olympic champions USA, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada), the top four teams from the upcoming FIBA Women's Asia Cup (including World Cup hosts Australia) and the top two teams from the FIBA Women's AfroBasket that is currently taking place until September 26th in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Three countries from each qualifying tournament will book their passage to the Women's World Cup, but there's just two open spots from the tournaments that have the USA and Australia as these two countries have already qualified for the tournament.
About the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022
The 19th edition of FIBA's most distinguished women's event, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022, will take place in Sydney, Australia from September 22 to October 1. National teams will qualify for the event via four global qualifying tournaments in February 2022.
The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 is supported by the NSW Government through its major events and tourism agency, Destination NSW and the Office of Sport.
For further information about the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022, visit womensbasketballworldcup/2022 or follow FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 on facebook.com/FIBAWWC, twitter.com/FIBAWWC, instagram.com/fibawwc and youtube.com/fiba.