Sport-by-sport - Wheelchair Basketball
|Chief Executive||Charlie Bethel|
|Performance Director||Haj Bhania (interim programme manager)|
|Funding Award (2009-2013)||£4,493,930|
|Best London 2012 Performance||Men reached semi-final. Women finished 4th.|
|Athletes on World Class Performance Programme||33|
|Past Performances||Paralympic Games, Beijing, 2008: Bronze (1) - Men|
|Press Officer||Stephanie Gagne|
|Press Officer tel||01509 279 900 / 07506 642 692|
|National governing body||Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association|
“My new seat has improved my game enormously from how I was playing in my old chair. The stability it allows me to have now gives me the ability to turn quickly both going right and left which I was unable to do before. I believe it is allowing me to play my best ever basketball which is not only good for me but for the whole team as we head to London.”
Backed by over £4 million from UK Sport for the current cycle, GB Wheelchair Basketball has achieved some very promising results ahead of this year’s Paralympic Games. The men’s team, Paralympic bronze medallists from Beijing, won the European Championships in 2011 for the first time since 1995, while the women secured bronze.
The players will be no strangers to the pressure and excitement of competing in front of a home crowd, following the UK Sport funded World Wheelchair Basketball Championships which took place in Birmingham in 2010.
World Class Performance Programme funding has allowed the teams to travel the world to compete in world class competitions and participate in international training camps, while also ensuring key players like Jon Pollock and Terry Bywater have received the best medical treatment in their recovery from long term injuries to make the team for 2012.
Men’s Assistant Coach Sinclair Thomas and Women’s Head Coach Garry Peel completed the UK Sport Paralympic Coach Development initiative in 2011. Launched in April of that year, the Paralympic-specific programme came about following a period of consultation with a number of Paralympic sports who had requested assistance in the area of development of the coaching workforce through Mission 2012.
Garry said: “It’s a great opportunity for Paralympic coaches to meet and discuss their experiences and also to help each other in producing the best athletes in the world in preparation for London.”
The teams have also benefitted from the cutting-edge expertise of UK Sport’s Research and Innovation team in this cycle, in a project the sport’s international federation has described as “world leading”.
Working with various partners, including Loughborough University, BMW, Contour, RGK and BAE Systems, UK Sport has developed bespoke wheelchair seats for the men’s and women’s team mid-point players which should increase their agility, control and speed on the court, as well as prevent injury. It is hoped this innovative work could be extended to the rest of the players in the team in the Rio cycle
Did You Know?
Jonathan Pollock and Simon Munn have been members of the World Class Performance Programme since 1997, when the first National Lottery awards to elite athletes began
Next major event
European Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2015
- 28 August - 7 September 2015
- Funding: Up to £375,000