With the countdown well and truly underway until the 2015 European Championships, the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) today announced the schedule for the opening stages of the event which will be held later this year at the University of Worcester.
The Wheelchair Basketball European Championships, the official qualifier event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, will see the continent's leading wheelchair basketball nations battle it out for their places in Brazil over 10 days between 28th August - 6th September – from the event, just five men's teams and four women's teams will qualify.
Seven nations competing within the Women's Championship include team GB which will begin its campaign in a round-robin that encompasses all of the other teams: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Turkey. And the 12 nations in the Men's Championship are drawn into two pools of six teams. Pool A includes GB, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, France and Germany, whilst Pool B holds the Netherlands, Turkey, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden and Italy.
The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships forms part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded major events programme, which targets championships that will support the nation’s athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Jan Berteling, President of IWBF Europe, commented on today’s news:
“It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we announce the schedule today for the men's and women's European Wheelchair Basketball Championships taking place in Worcester, UK this summer. The release of the schedule is always a great milestone in the run-up to the event as each team can begin to focus its preparation knowing which teams it will play, and when. This year's championship promises to be an action-packed event and very competitive as the teams battle it out to take a spot in Rio. There are some great games lined up and I am already looking forward to being in Worcester and watching the competition.”
Martin Morton, Chairman of the Organising Committee for European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, also commented:
“On behalf of British Wheelchair Basketball and our key stakeholders, I am delighted to confirm the schedule of games for this year's European Championships for men and women. Part of UK Sport's Gold Event Series the event offers the opportunity for five men's teams and four women's teams to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Importantly it provides a home stage for both our teams, an advantage that will hopefully push our stars on their way to Paralympic success in Brazil.
I am pleased to say that preparations to stage the event in the beautiful, picturesque and historic City of Worcester are well under way. The University of Worcester will provide athletes and support teams with the perfect stage - I look forward to welcoming our friends from around Europe in the summer - please keep a look at out at www.euro2015.uk for details of tickets which will go on general sale on Friday 10th April.”
About the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2015
Organised by British Wheelchair Basketball in partnership with IWBF and the University of Worcester, the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships is part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series. The Championships will take place at Worcester Arena over 10 days between 28th August - 6th September, and involve 19 teams (12 Men & 7 Women) competing for the European titles and for places at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The competing teams are: Men - Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. Women – Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey.
About IWBF Europe
IWBF Europe, on behalf of IWBF, promotes, supervises and directs the sport of wheelchair basketball within its Zone, strictly recognising the autonomy of each NOWB within its own territory, while following the policies of IWBF as established by the World Congress and the IWBF Executive Council. The Executive Council of IWBF Europe has its responsibilities:
• To encourage the growth and development of the sport in all European nations through an organised programme of education and instruction;
• To direct the work of the Zone on behalf of its NOWBs;
• To organise the competitions of the Zone for nations and clubs;
• To establish the standard for training and certification of referees, classifiers and examiners maintaining the same standard as IWBF;
• To sanction all major competitions held within the Zone;
• To control and maintain the classification of players, the issue of Player Identity Cards and Player Classification Cards as directed by IWBF;
• The Executive Council ensures the timely administration of the matters of the Zone by:
• Establishing such Commissions as it deems necessary for the proper conduct of its duties and making appointments to such commissions;
• Organising a European Forum for discussion, analysis and drafting of Specific Regulations, including changes to the General Regulations, Competitions Regulations and Bylaws of IWBF Europe;
• Maintaining a documented history of the sport in Europe;
About British Wheelchair Basketball
British Wheelchair Basketball aims to create, underpin and deliver quality opportunities for players at all level in all corners of the United Kingdom to obtain the best possible performances for teams clubs and each and every member.
It aims to establish the United Kingdom in wheelchair basketball as the premier nation in the world as evidenced by our levels of participation, structures, systems, world beating performances, and the influence and respect held by the UK in the World.
It has a role in engaging with, ensuring, and maintaining sustainable appropriate pathways and identification mechanisms to capitalise on recruitment, potential and performance in every aspect of wheelchair basketball, building the talent pool and number of people participating in wheelchair basketball.
It is responsible for delivering world class events within a comprehensive calendar, supporting both development and performance, whilst establishing the United Kingdom as the premier deliverer of wheelchair basketball events in the World
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About UK Sport
UK Sport is the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of around £350million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports preparing for Rio 2016 and beyond.
UK Sport’s major events programme will invest £27million of National Lottery funding to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers. Events are supported for their likely performance impact on GB athletes preparation and qualification on the road to Rio 2016 and also to maximise the wider sporting, social, cultural and economic opportunities.
Download the game schedule.