British Wheelchair Basketball today announced a realigning of its Performance Programme as the GB Team’s look towards realising podium success in Tokyo.
The world-class performance programme has delivered unprecedented success on the international stage over the last two years with the GB Men’s Team claiming both the World and European Championships titles, and the GB Women’s Team bringing home the silver medals in both tournaments.
Today’s announcement signifies a final ‘tightening up’ of the programme as the GB teams embark upon a hugely exciting 12 months towards Tokyo 2020.
The new structure of the programme will see GB Men’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania OBE, transition into the role of Head of Coaching and Tactical Development; overseeing the development of the coaching pathway, alongside his role as men’s head coach.
Dan Price, the former Assistant Coach of the GB women, will move into the interim role of Lead Coach for the GB women taking them into Tokyo, with ex-GB Paralympian Steve Caine providing assistant coach support for both the GB men and women’s teams.
GB Women’s Head Coach, Miles Thompson, left BWB in August 2019. Miles was a significant force in enabling the women’s programme to grow and achieve international success delivering a strong medal legacy with the squads reaching two finals in their last two majors.
British Wheelchair Basketball thanks Miles for his contributions in developing the sport in the UK and wish Miles continued success for the future.
Ahead of today’s public announcement, Haj Bhania commented on his philosophy for GB’s success, and also paid tribute to Miles Thompson and his achievements:
“GB has always been one of the top international performance programmes. The intention and progress made over the last five years has been to create more athlete selection challenges by developing more athletes with broader skills sets, to be continually evolving and expansive in our style of play, be fitter and faster, to be effective decision makers and execute all actions at a high level.
“This has been achieved by collaborative working with the athletes, devising a system that allows them to express themselves and to empower and take ownership.”
“Miles has been a great colleague. We shared many coaching experiences, both of us with different approaches – Miles with his lively and entertaining language and quotes, but both with a common purpose.
“We supported each other in developing the GB coaching systems and styles leading to him being the most successful GB Women’s coach. His commitment and dedication to the role helped create an internationally competitive team with depth and multi-skilled and talented athletes. He also helped shape a positive programme which holds good today and for the future.”
Performance Director of British Wheelchair Basketball, Jayne Ellis, expressed her support of both Dan Price and Haj Bhania’s appointment and the revisioning of the BWB Performance Programme:
“We are very proud of all our players, coaches and staff for the success they have achieved through commitment and dedication to their craft. They have set the bar high in the last 12 months and the changes outlined demonstrate our continued evolution towards being the leading nation in Wheelchair Basketball.
“Dan has done an exceptional job as assistant coach with the Women’s team since he arrived from the USA in 2016 and will continue this as he moves into the lead role for Tokyo 2020.
“Haj is widely recognised both nationally and internationally as one of the foremost influential figures in wheelchair basketball coaching. As a performance programme and sport, we are exceptionally excited to see his coaching and tactical influence delivered across all levels of our pathway.”