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British Wheelchair Basketball announces “transformational” new strategy

By Andy Knaggs    11 Mar 2019
Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, competitive sport
It will be an exciting journey for British Wheelchair Basketball as the sport breaks new ground
– Professor Philip Wilson

Establishing a professional domestic league is cited as being of critical importance to the success of British Wheelchair Basketball’s newly announced five-year strategy for transforming the sport and its public perception.

The strategy announcement sets bold targets within its collective ambition to realise a progressive future for the sport, which is open to both disabled and non-disabled participants, and in which Britain has enjoyed great success of late. Four clear objectives are articulated in the strategy:

Double participation – there are currently 17,000 people playing wheelchair basketball in the UK, and the strategy suggests there is a current potential of up to 70,000 participants.

A world-class performance programme – including the formation of a GB Academy, which will define the development pathway for players with GB potential through the creation of an incubation hub.

Professional domestic leagues – a critical component to the strategy’s success; attracting and retaining the world’s best wheelchair basketball players, as well as the delivery of more high quality, competitive playing opportunities through local leagues.

A world-leading National Governing Body – able to deliver regular, high quality broadcast and spectator opportunities, and to welcome new commercial investors to the sport.

British Wheelchair Basketball said the strategy had been formulated following an “extensive consultation process” with the sport’s participants to define how they want to see the sport evolve and grow..

Professor Philip Wilson, the organisation’s chair, said: “It will be an exciting journey for British Wheelchair Basketball as the sport breaks new ground and we proudly establish the UK as the premier nation worldwide for wheelchair basketball.”

Competitive athletic success is already there. Great Britain’s men’s senior team are the current world champions and have been European champions three times in a row. The women’s senior team are current world silver medallists and have won European bronze six times in a row. There are also age-group world and European titles held by GB teams. The women’s league in Britain is the largest in the world.

Playing the sport has social, physical and mental benefits too, says British Wheelchair Basketball CEO Lisa Pearce, who added: “I have no doubt that the delivery of this strategy will ultimately benefit all of society, with more lives being positively influenced through their interaction with this incredible sport.”

British Wheelchair Basketball  wheelchair basketball  Professor Philip Wilson  Lisa Pearce 
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