Moving Ceremony Officially Opens Largest Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship In History

(Toronto Ont.) – Twelve teams hit the hardcourt in front of an energized, sellout crowd on Friday for the official opening of the largest women’s world championship in wheelchair basketball history at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.

The 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship runs June 20-28 and features the top players from around the globe representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru and the United States.

The hometown Canadian side is in pursuit of an unprecedented seventh consecutive podium finish at the world championship, and the tournament will be Canada’s first major test on the road to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“This is an exciting moment for women’s wheelchair basketball,” said International Wheelchair Basketball Federation President Maureen Orchard. “It marks the first time that 12 teams will hold centre stage in the wheelchair basketball world all alone. Congratulations to Wheelchair Basketball Canada on helping us get here.”

“Supporting the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship is important to our Government, as it provides opportunities for our athletes to compete against world-class competition on home soil, in front of enthusiastic Canadian fans,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), who was on hand for the festivities. “That is why we provided $245,000 through Sport Canada for the hosting of this event. We’re very excited that Toronto is hosting the Championship, and we congratulate all the athletes competing this week on reaching this remarkable milestone in their sport careers. We look forward to seeing some of them back next year when we host the 2015 Parapan American Games.”

All 44 games of the competition will be webcast live online through CBC Sports’ free desktop video player and SportsCanada.TV’s digital platforms, as well as through the official tournament website at www.2014wheelchairbasketball.com. Tickets are also on sale online and at the Mattamy Athletic Centre box office.

For more information please visit www.2014wheelchairbasketball.com / #2014wcbasketball.

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