29 July, 2020

British Wheelchair Basketball Statement – 29 July 2020

This week the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) released its third set of outcomes as part of phase 1 of its eligibility reassessment review. The review is a requirement for the sport to align to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athlete Classification Code.

As the National Governing Body for wheelchair basketball in the UK, British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB) is committed to working with both IWBF and IPC to facilitate the timely completion of the eligibility review process. We remain steadfast in our stance that wheelchair basketball is a vital team sport within the Paralympic roster, and we are dedicated to securing the sports future within the Paralympic movement in Tokyo.

Above all, however, our focus is to support those players impacted by the eligibility review as it progresses through each of the phases until completion. The January announcement of the review, so close to a Paralympic Games, has understandably caused significant distress to all athletes involved, each of whom have remained committed to representing their nation at the Tokyo Paralympics.  It is essential lessons are learnt on how this process has been administered and the impact this has had on athlete welfare. Our focus and support is with each of these athletes as the process reaches its conclusion over the next twelve months.

Today, BWB has confirmed a review of its classification policy; the review denotes that the BWB domestic eligibility alignment will maintain the current eligibility and classification systems that are in operation in the UK (for domestic BWB competition).

In due course BWB will issue guidance regarding the distinctions between international and domestic classification eligibility pathways. The publication of this information will follow the completion the IWBF international eligibility review.

BWB’s Eligibility and Classification Policy can be viewed here: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/mdocs-posts/eligibility-and-classification-policy/

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