Great Britain’s eight leading junior wheelchair basketball teams announced as the countdown to the Elite 8s begins.
British Wheelchair Basketball today announced the eight Lord’s Taverners Junior League teams who have qualified for a place at the 2018 Elite 8’s competition on Saturday 21st April. Securing places at the tournament are CWBA, Jaguars, Lancaster Spinners, Northern Ireland, Norwich Lowriders, Sheffield Steelers, Thames Valley Kings and Tornados.
Following an incredible season of the new format Lord’s Taverners Junior League, eight teams out of 20 nationally will now continue to play at the EIS Sheffield hosted Elite 8s tournament at the weekend.
Competition promises to be fierce at the 21st April tournament as the junior teams compete for just two coveted gold medal match places which, for the first time, will be fought out at the sports National Championships on Saturday 26 May.
Jo Richards, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Participation Director and Interim CEO is feeling very positive about the introduction of the Elite 8s competition in the Junior League calendar:
“This season the Lord’s Taverners Junior League format has been developed to provide greater competitive opportunities for our players. The Elite 8s tournament will bring together the best junior teams from across the length and breadth of the UK in a one day competition, which will see 11 back-to-back full length games played during the day.
“Our Junior League is an incredible talent pathway for this sport’s young players, with many of GB’s rising stars honing their skills in the League. The Elite 8s will showcase this nations most talented young players and teams in a tournament which promises to deliver on action and skill.”
Nicky Pemberton, Charitable Programme Director, of Lord’s Taverners is excited to see the new Elite 8s tournament in action this weekend and added:
“The Lord’s Taverners Junior League continues to be an incredible competitive playing environment for junior players to enjoy wheelchair basketball and excel at the sport. We are incredibly proud that the League is catalyst in the skills development of many of the junior players and facilitates their pathway into the GB Programmes.
“The Elite 8s will see the very best players of the junior game compete in a one day tournament – good luck each of the eight teams that are travelling to Sheffield to compete this weekend.”
Event Details: Lord’s Taverners Elite 8s
Venue: EIS Sheffield, Coleridge Road, Sheffield S9 5DA
Date: Saturday 21 April 2018 // Tap-off 9:30am
GB Pathway: 19 Players have trained with the GB programmes this season (12 men / 7 women)
Success: 3 Players were part of the GB Junior Squads which claimed the World Championship Titles in 2017 (Men) and 2015 (Women).
Inclusive Sport: 7 out of 8 teams include 5 point players within the squads – one of which is Lancaster Spinner’s Lucas Warburton brother of Gregg Warburton GB U23 Men’s Team Captain, Junior World Champion, Rio Paralympian, and member of GB Men’s Senior Squad.
Family Sport: The game offers the opportunity for siblings to compete side by side with Liam and Reece Barker both named on the Thames Valley Kings squad, and GB U23 team members Jade and Adele Atkin representing the Tornados.
Paralympic Legacy: GB Paralympians Peter Finbow and Kev Hayes are coaching two of the Elite 8’s teams – Northern Ireland and Sheffield Steelers (respectively)