“We know we have to be at our best every game because the competition at the highest level is so incredibly tight”
- 24 athletes selected to Team Canada
- Rosters include 15 Paralympians alongside nine players making their debut at a major international competition
- 28 teams to compete at largest world championship in history
- Canadian women vying for eighth consecutive podium finish
(July 31, 2018 – OTTAWA, ONT.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada is pleased to announce the athletes selected to represent Canada as members of the Senior Men’s and Women’s National Teams at the IWBF World Championships from August 16-26, 2018 in Hamburg, Germany.
“We congratulate all of the athletes for their hard work and dedication in earning a spot on Team Canada for the 2018 IWBF World Championships,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada High Performance Director Jeff Dunbrack. “We have two very competitive teams, backed by a strong leadership group and an incredible support staff, and we all look forward to an intense competition in Hamburg. We have made great strides in our development as a program as we hit the midway point in our quad and continue to build towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”
“What an exciting day for all the dedicated athletes who have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 IWBF World Championships,” said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “This is an opportunity like no other. These athletes will not only have a shot at claiming the World Championship title, but they will also inspire many young Canadian athletes watching from home. I wish our Team Canada athletes the best of luck as they compete in Hamburg, Germany, next month. Canada supports you and is cheering you on!”
The combined Canadian rosters feature 15 Paralympians, five Paralympic gold medallists and seven world champions, alongside nine players who will compete in their first major international competition for Canada.
The athletes named to Team Canada are as follows:
Team Canada Men
Patrick Anderson (Fergus, Ont.)
Vincent Dallaire (Quebec, Que.)
David Eng (Montreal, Que.)
Nikola Goncin (Regina, Sask.)
Bo Hedges (Wonowon, B.C.)
Colin Higgins (Rothesay, N.B.)
Chad Jassman (Calgary, Alta.)
Lee Melymick (Toronto, Ont.)
Tyler Miller (Kitchener, Ont.)
Ben Moronchuk (Edmonton, Alta.)
Garrett Ostepchuk (Regina, Sask.)
Jonathan Vermette (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Team Canada Women
Sandrine Bérubé (Beauharnois, Que.)
Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, B.C.)
Erica Gavel (Prince Albert, Sask.)
Melanie Hawtin (Oakville, Ont.)
Maude Jacques (Lac-Beauport, Que.)
Puisand Lai (Toronto, Ont.)
Rosalie Lalonde (Saint-Clet, Que.)
Tara Llanes (North Vancouver, B.C.)
Cindy Ouellet (Quebec, Que.)
Tamara Steeves (Mississauga, Ont.)
Élodie Tessier (Saint-Germain-de-Grantham, Que.)
Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.)
Click here for full roster details.
“I am very excited to be a part of this talented young team and wear the maple leaf across my chest one more time and represent Canada at the World Championship,” said veteran athlete Cindy Ouellet. “As the defending world champions, we know we have to be at our best every game because the competition will be incredibly high. We have logged a lot of hours on court and in the gym to prepare for this event. We trust the process and in each other. We know that we are ready to take another shot at the podium in Hamburg.”
“Even after all of these years on the national team, it remains a great honour for me to be able to represent Canada in wheelchair basketball,” said Team Canada co-captain David Eng. “As a team, we have a tight-knit group of guys with a lot of experience and talent and I can’t wait to hit the court and show what this team can do. Worlds is the biggest event in our sport outside of the Paralympics and it will be a big test for us.”
On the men’s side, Canada will be led by head coach Matteo Feriani (Padua, Italy) and assistant coaches Joey Johnson (Winnipeg, Man.) and Nicolas Palmer (Laval, Que.). The women’s team coaching staff consists of head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme (Chambly, Que.) and assistants Jason Eng (Montreal, Que.) and Simon Cass (Victoria, B.C.).
The 2018 IWBF World Championships will feature 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams vying for the world title as the top athletes in the game showcase the elite skill, pure athleticism and dynamic speed that allows wheelchair basketball to captivate audiences around the globe. The event is a catalyst for promoting inclusion and marks the largest world championship in the history of the sport and one of the largest international parasport events outside of the Paralympic Games.
Both Canadian teams have been centralized since May at the Wheelchair Basketball Canada National Training Centre located at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough, Ont., to prepare for Hamburg. The Canadian men will travel to Italy and the women will depart for France for staging in early August prior to the start of the 2018 IWBF World Championships.
The Canadian men and women play their opening games at the 2018 IWBF World Championships in double-header action on Friday, August 17, as the men face Morocco and the women take on Great Britain.
About the Canadian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team
- Five Canadian men are Paralympic gold medallists (Anderson, Eng, Hedges, Jassman and Miller), while Anderson and Eng also won gold at the 2006 World Championships.
- Four male athletes (Dallaire, Higgins, Melymick, and Ostepchuk) are making their debut at a major international tournament.
- While he has appeared as an assistant coach, Matteo Feriani is making his debut as a head coach at a major event.
- The youngest player on the men’s roster is Garrett Ostepchuk who will be 18-years-old when competition starts.
- Six provinces are represented on the men’s team (Alta., B.C., N.B., Ont., Sask., Que.) with three athletes each from Ontario and Quebec, two from Saskatchewan and Alberta, and one from British Columbia and New Brunswick.
- David Eng and Bo Hedges are co-captains.
- Anderson, one of the best players to ever play the game, is returning to major international competition for the first time since the London 2012 Paralympic Games following a hiatus from the Canadian national team to pursue music and other interests.
About the Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team
- The Canadian women have reached the podium at every World Championship (seven consecutive) since the inaugural event in 1990, winning gold five times and bronze twice.
- Canada won the last World Championship on home soil in 2014 and the 2018 squad features five returning athletes (Hawtin, Jacques, Ouellet, Steeves, and Young).
- Five female athletes (Bérubé, Dandeneau, Lai, Llanes, and Tessier) are making their debut at a major international tournament, along with head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme.
- The youngest player on the women’s roster is Puisand Lai who will be 18-years-old when she makes her national team debut.
- Five provinces are represented on the women’s team (Alta, B.C., Ont., Sask., Que.) with five hailing from Quebec, three from Ontario, two from British Columbia, and one each from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Cindy Ouellet is a multisport athlete who has competed at four Paralympic Games (three times at the Summer Games competing in wheelchair basketball, and most recently at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games competing in Para Nordic).
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information, visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca.
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Wheelchair Basketball Canada
W: 613-260-1296 ext. 203
Director, Marketing and Communications
Wheelchair Basketball Canada
W: 613-260-1296 ext. 206