(Mississauga, Ont.) A new partnership between Wheelchair Basketball Canada and Sunrise Medical will help enable thousands of students in the GTA to experience the sport. It’s all part of the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship Schools Program that launched today in front of 500 students at the Rick Hansen Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont.
The Schools Program is made possible through the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is a legacy initiative of the largest women’s world championship in history. The tournament will take place June 20-28, 2014 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto where Team Canada will pursue a record-setting seventh consecutive podium finish.
Sunrise Medical, a world leader in the development, design, and manufacturing of sport wheelchairs, including their popular Quickie brand, becomes the official equipment supplier of Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the 2014 Women’s World Championship. As part of the new three-year partnership agreement, they have provided 22 sport wheelchairs to the Schools Program. Plans for co-branding and activations at the 2014 Women’s World Championship in Toronto are in the works. The two sides will also collaborate to provide additional opportunities that support the growth of the sport across the country.
“Wheelchair Basketball Canada is very excited about the opportunity to work closely with an industry leader like Sunrise Medical. They are an organization that understands the value of teamwork and their commitment to innovation and improving people’s lives aligns perfectly with our core values. We are privileged to enter into a tremendous partnership that will benefit the entire wheelchair basketball community from the grassroots to our high performance athletes,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens.
“We are privileged to enter into a tremendous partnership that will benefit the entire wheelchair basketball community from the grassroots to our high performance athletes”
“We are very privileged to be entering into this partnership with Wheelchair Basketball Canada. We share the same passion and commitment to excellence as the phenomenal athletes of the Men’s, Women’s and Junior programs. We are also excited and proud to be working alongside Wheelchair Basketball Canada on their numerous grassroots and development programs which will help grow the sport that we all love and support”, said Sunrise Medical National Sales Director Mike Longo.
Today’s school visit was the first of many stops planned between now and the tournament that will impact thousands of students in the GTA; raising awareness about wheelchair basketball, highlighting the inclusivity of the sport, and promoting positive attitudinal change toward disability.
“Getting the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship at home in front of so many of family and friends is going to be incredible. That is why I am grateful for the backing of key supporters like Sunrise Medical, as well as the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation who come together to help make this dream a reality. Knowing that I have so many people in my corner pushing for me gives me the confidence to train and perform at my best,” said Team Canada athlete Tamara Steeves of Mississauga, Ont.
Other 2014 Women’s World Championship legacy initiatives include a Futures Mentorship Program, a 3-on-3 Research Development Camp, International Women’s Congress, and workshops for coaches and technical officials.
About the School’s Program
Armed with sport wheelchairs, a demo team will visit 80-100 schools in the GTA giving students a chance to try wheelchair basketball and connect with local athletes/role models in an interactive, inclusive, and informative way. Participating schools can “gear up” for the 2014 WWWBC by taking the initiative to learn about the customs and culture of one of the 12 participating countries with added opportunity to attend the event and show their support.
About Sunrise Medical
Sunrise Medical is a world leader in the development, design, manufacturing and marketing of manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and both standard and customized seating and positioning systems. Their well-known Quickie brand sport chairs have propelled many of the top wheelchair basketball players in the world to the top of the podium. Sunrise Medical is proud to help the many Canadians who are living without limits. For more information, visit www.sunrisemedical.com.