(Toronto, Ont.) The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the 2017 Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship (2017 U23WWBC) organizing committee are pleased to announce the 12 countries that will compete at the world junior championship from June 8-16, 2017 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.
The Canadian Men’s U23 National Team will join teams from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States in the tournament.
“The qualification tournaments for the U23 World Championships in each zone were extremely competitive, I would like to congratulate all the nations that have qualified,” said IWBF President Ulf Mehrens. “I’m really proud to have representation from all of our zones at the Championships. This is a real showcase for our young talented wheelchair basketball athletes and I am in no doubt we are set for some high quality action. These Championships really exhibit how much junior programs within wheelchair basketball have grown and developed in the past 20 years. It is also a pleasure for us to have the tournament hosted in Canada again. They have done a very professional job previously in hosting tournaments, and we know they are experienced in organizing world-class events. We are looking forward to welcoming the future stars of our sport to Canada in June.”
“This is a real showcase for our young talented wheelchair basketball athletes and I am in no doubt we are set for some high quality action. These Championships really exhibit how much junior programs within wheelchair basketball have grown and developed in the past 20 years.”
The 2017 Men’s U23 World Championship marks the 20-year anniversary since Canada hosted the inaugural world championship for junior men in 1997 in Toronto.
“We are proud to welcome the top junior male wheelchair basketball players in the world to Toronto and look forward to the display of elite skill and athleticism that is sure to captivate fans following opening tip off in June,” said Tournament Director Wendy Gittens. “To once again host this world-class event is truly an honour and we are thrilled to celebrate a milestone by bringing the tournament back to the original host city 20 years later. The game has evolved tremendously since 1997 and we cannot wait to see the next generation of premier athletes showcase what they can do on the court.”
The 2017 U23WWBC will celebrate the ongoing growth of the game while promoting inclusivity and accessibility. By building on the legacy of hosting the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship and the momentum created by the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, the organizing committee will forge a lasting legacy for the wheelchair basketball community in Canada and around the world.
A formal draw will take place at a later date to determine the competition groups for the tournament. The competition schedule will be announced shortly thereafter.
About the Event
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is pleased to host the top junior male wheelchair basketball players on the planet from June 8-16, 2017 for the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.
World-class athletes representing 12 nations, including host Canada, will converge at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto to showcase the elite skill and athleticism that make wheelchair basketball a thrilling spectator sport and one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability in the world. Over 400 athletes, coaches, officials, delegates, and volunteers will attend the event.
Team Canada is in pursuit of a return to the top of the podium, having won back-to-back gold medals at the world championship for junior men in 1997 and 2001. Most recently, Canada placed sixth at the last world championship for junior men in 2013.
For more information visit: www.2017u23wwbc.com / #2017u23wwbc
About the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)
The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) is the international governing body responsible for wheelchair basketball. It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide opportunities for persons with a disability to play the game of wheelchair basketball. For more information, please visit www.iwbf.org.
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, please visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca.
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is hosting the 2017 Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. It marks the organization’s fifth opportunity to host a landmark international wheelchair basketball championship, having previously hosted the Women’s World Championship in 2014, the Men’s World Championship in 1994, the inaugural Men’s U23 World Championship in 1997, and the first-ever Women’s U25 World Championship in 2011.