(Toronto, Ont) Three months from today Toronto will welcome the top female wheelchair basketball athletes on the planet for eight days of competition when they move into the Mattamy Athletic Centre June 20-28 to vie for the title of world champion at the largest women’s wheelchair basketball tournament in history. Tickets are on sale now to cheer on the defending bronze medalist Team Canada, who has the unprecedented opportunity to play on home soil in front of family, friends, and sports fans as they pursue a record setting seventh consecutive podium performance.
Due to the ongoing growth and prosperity of wheelchair basketball worldwide, the women’s tournament will be held separately from the men’s competition for the first time in 20 years. Twelve nations including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, the United States, and Canada will compete in the milestone event that celebrates the ongoing growth of women’s sport, inclusivity, and accessibility. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) event is hosted by Wheelchair Basketball Canada and will forge a legacy for female wheelchair basketball athletes around in Canada and around the world.
“Canada is fiercely proud of our roots in hosting world-leading wheelchair basketball events such as the Men’s Worlds in 1994, the inaugural Junior Men’s Worlds in 1997, and the first-ever Junior Women’s Worlds in 2011. Which is why we are so incredibly excited, humbled, and grateful to work with so many great partners such as the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, as well as the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Sunrise Medical to continue building legacies and leave a lasting impact,” said Tournament Director Wendy Gittens.
“We are pleased to support Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s hosting of the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. It will provide world-class competition for our elite athletes, in addition to promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to Canadians,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Sport plays an important part in Canadian culture, and our Government is proud to support Paralympic sports and Paralympic athletes who dedicate themselves to their sport. They are an enormous source of pride and inspiration for all Canadians.”
The Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team will also be featured at the Mattamy Athletic Centre during the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, and the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship organizing committee is working closely with organizers to ensure the success of both events.
“The Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto is an excellent opportunity for our athletes to demonstrate their athletic excellence on home soil in front for a world audience,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. “Hosting events like this one allow us to showcase all that Ontario has to offer and help to establish Ontario as a premier destination for international sport events.”
Canada, along with Australia, Japan, and the Netherlands are currently training at the Mattamy Athletic Centre until March 21st. The four teams are practicing on court daily and participating in a series of friendly games in the evenings that are open to the public. Fans and the media can catch their first glimpse of the fierce competition, intensity, and athleticism that make wheelchair the most popular sport in the world for people with a disability.
“This is the first chance in my 20-plus year career to compete in a major international event on home soil, in my hometown, and in front of my family and friends”
“This is the first chance in my 20-plus year career to compete in a major international event on home soil, in my hometown, and in front of my family and friends. It will truly be a special experience for me, as well as the other participants, volunteers, and spectators who will be cheering loud” said three-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and Toronto, Ont. native Tracey Ferguson.”
Tickets for the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship are available through Ticketmaster.
The 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship will generate over $4 million in economic activity in Ontario.
About the Event
Over 400 athletes, coaches, officials, delegates, and volunteers will attend the 2014 WWWBC that features 12 participating countries. Canadians can catch a sneak peek at the top 12 female wheelchair basketball players in Canada, including emerging local talent and highly decorated stars, preparing to compete in one of the most fiercely competitive and exciting spectator sports to be played at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
About Team Canada
Team Canada is in pursuit of an unprecedented seventh straight podium performance, remarkably, having medalled at every single world championship including the capture of four consecutive gold medals (1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006), and bronze medals in 1990 and 2010.
About the Host
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the host of the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. The event marks Canada’s fourth opportunity to host a landmark international wheelchair basketball championship – having previously hosted the Men’s World Championship in 1994, the inaugural U23 Men’s World Championships in 1997, and the first-ever U25 Women’s World Championships in 2011.