(Toronto, Ont.) With their sights firmly set on representing the maple leaf at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, hopefuls for the Canadian Women’s Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team will welcome rivals from Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States for a series of exhibition games at the Toronto Challenge from March 30 to April 3, 2016 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The Toronto Challenge marks the first major test for the Canadian women as they proceed with team selections and preparations on the road to Rio 2016. Canada is the reigning world champion and the top-ranked team heading into the Paralympic Games.
TV/Photo Op: Catch a glimpse of the speed, skill and athleticism of elite wheelchair basketball athletes set to star at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Who: Rio 2016 hopefuls from Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States vs. the Canadian Women’s National Team. Athletes representing Canada at the Toronto Challenge are:
- Elaine Allard (Saint-Eustache, Que.) *
- Tracey Ferguson (Richmond Hill, Ont.) *
- Erica Gavel (Prince Albert, Sask.)
- Katie Harnock (Elmira, Ont.) *
- Melanie Hawtin (Oakville, Ont.)
- Maude Jacques (Lac-Beauport, Que.) *
- Jamey Jewells (Donkin, N.S.) *
- Rosalie Lalonde (Saint-Clet, Que.)
- Cindy Ouellet (Quebec City, Que.) *
- Darda Sales (London, Ont.)
- Tamara Steeves (Mississauga, Ont.) *
- Amanda Yan (Burnaby, B.C.)
- Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.)
* denotes players with Paralympic Games experience
Head Coach: Bill Johnson (Winnipeg, Man.)
What: 2016 Toronto Challenge – International Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
- Canada vs. Netherlands – Wednesday March 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET
- Canada Open Practice – Thursday March 31 from 9-11 a.m. ET
- Canada vs. USA – Thursday March 31 at 6:15 p.m. ET
- Canada vs. Great Britain – Friday April 1 at 6:15 p.m. ET
- Canada vs. Netherlands – Saturday April 2 at 6:15 p.m. ET
- Canada vs. USA – Sunday April 3 at 6:15 p.m. ET
Where: Mattamy Athletic Centre – 50 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ont. M5B 1J2
Media are invited to attend an open practice on Thursday March 31, 2016 from 9-11 a.m. ET. Interviews with Team Canada athletes and coaches can be scheduled by contacting Courtney Pollock at 613-291-6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Team Canada
The Senior Women’s National Team is amongst the most successful and dominant teams in Canadian amateur sport history. The team captured three consecutive Paralympic gold medals in 1992, 1996, and 2000, and bronze in 2004. They have also reached the podium at seven consecutive world championships.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports 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 six Paralympic Games.